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Hollywood, FL WiFi Project

Hollywood, FL WiFi Project

The City of Hollywood, FL now has its own claim to fame as “Wireless Hollywood,” thanks to MCS’ installation of a wireless mesh network throughout the City’s 27 square miles - the largest Motorola mesh network on the planet!   

The Network

In just 18 months MCS has deployed 750 internet access points (IAPs) that are connected to 11 backhaul sites around the City.  The sum of the devices – two-system radios/routers, subscriber modules, canopy radios, point-to-point radios, antennas - forms a monolithic mesh network; Hollywood’s very own internet. 

Each strategically located IAP is a two-radio system that uses a 2.4 GHz radio for the general public, City code enforcement and utilities; while a 4.9 GHz radio is exclusively dedicated for law enforcement and emergency first responders.  The system notably increases data throughput over a single-radio system.  

MCS’ deployment methods were enhanced by VMM (vehicle mounted modems) which allowed installers to quickly and precisely  determine the proper installation point for each radio while driving through Hollywood neighborhoods.  The use of mobile modems that offer 3 Mbps at 70 mph also made for accurate testing of each IAP after installation; MCS achieved a “run through” of the system point by point.  The VMM is a new product line that is now tested beyond the beta stage thanks to MCS’ implementation. 

The network features packet filtering to isolate threats, enhance security; and to provide power balancing, interference mitigation, and ground coverage with high throughput.

The total user count will exceed 3,000, with page requests totalling more than 200,000.  The average load is 5 Mbps, while the capacity Is 10.  The network is a carrier class system that can replace Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) services.   

Services

MCS has helped the City realize its stated slogan: “Wireless Hollywood”.  Our network enables the following services:  

  • Free outdoor internet access to all residents, businesses and visitors
  • Secure wireless access for emergency first reponders and police officers; even on the go
  • Automated water meters that use the mesh network for customer billing; the new technology delivers accurate readings, less people, leak detection, and it allows the water department to monitor usage patterns.
  • A total of 60,000 automated meters
  • Parking meters will also be online soon; cellular meters are in operation in the interim

Performance Testing and Maintenance

The mesh network has been tested at 96.3 percent street level coverage on the 4.9 Ghz public band, and each point tested well above the signal strength standard (-79 RSSI signal strength).  The radios at the 2.4 Ghz safety frequency demonstrated almost 95 percent (94.7) aggregate wireless coverage during our most recent testing.

MCS tested each IAP for speed as well as connectivity, and each access point averaged over 3 Mbps throughput with no failure.  The network in the aggregate is 100 percent compliant.

MCS managers and technicians provided assurance to the City during the course of the deployment by conducting remote monitoring and power cycling via laptop until the project was completely in the City’s control.  MCS is also keeping five or six radios for backup in the event of a failure or damage that occurs in the course of city operations.