SAN JOSE, Calif., March 7, 2006 - Cisco Systems®, announced today that Cellnet Technology, Inc., a leading provider of real-time fixed network and advanced metering infrastructure solutions to the utility industry, has selected Cisco to provide outdoor "mesh" technology for a Wi-Fi initiative called Mad City Broadband undertaken by the city of Madison, Wis. Cellnet will build and manage a Wi-Fi network to serve the city's growing population of wireless users in the consumer, academic, commercial and government sectors.
In addition to providing access to its citizens, visitors and businesses, the city intends to use the network for public safety and public works applications, such as meter reading, police communications, and tracking city garbage and recycling vehicles.
"Our goal is to make Madison a textbook best-practices model for municipal Wi-Fi," said Dave Cieslewicz, the mayor of Madison. "We believe this mesh network will open up new opportunities for local businesses, improve public safety and city works operations, and enhance the Internet experience for citizens, visitors and students in Madison."
The first phase of the deployment, scheduled for completion this month, will comprise 150 access points and cover a 10-mile radius from the capitol building in the city center. To simplify management and centralize network control, Cellnet is using Cisco 4400 Series Wireless LAN Controllers and the Cisco Wireless Control System to manage Cisco Aironet 1500 Series Access Points, which are attached to street lights and utility poles.
"Cellnet required a highly scalable wireless mesh networking product for the Madison deployment, and Cisco was clearly the superior solution," said Louis Kek, Cellnet's chief information officer. "The Cisco Aironet 1500 Series demonstrated outstanding ease of installation for this large-scale deployment with its self-discovery and self-configuration capabilities. In addition, we selected the 1500 Series for its dual-radio design, which helps with connecting low-power client devices, such as wireless laptop computers and handheld devices."
"This is a landmark use of providing mobility services in a mixed use public environment," said Alan S. Cohen, senior director of product management for Cisco Systems' Wireless Networking Business Unit.. "Delivering outdoor wireless mesh solutions to progressive municipalities like Madison remains a core part of our overall unified wireless strategy."
The network will be installed at no cost to the city, and Cellnet has secured its initial revenue from service agreements with Internet service providers (ISPs). Cellnet will sell wholesale bandwidth to local ISPs who will package services under their own brands. Through ISPs, local businesses will utilize Mad City Broadband for their mobile employees by subscribing to highly secure virtual private network (VPN) services.