Hugh Pickens writes "In the first such system deployed in the country, police vehicles in Ponca City, Oklahoma will have wireless video cameras installed so precinct dispatchers and supervisors can monitor activities during traffic stops in real time, and quickly deploy additional officers and resources if necessary. The system to provide an added level of monitoring and protection for its force is part of a broadband mesh network comprised of more than 490 wireless nodes and gateways connected to 120 miles of fiber backbone that will provide coverage for approximately 30 square miles of the city. The network will provide field communications for city services including police, fire and emergency, parks and recreation, public works and energy, but will also be used to provide free wireless internet access for all residents of the city. 'The testing of this network showed that it was robust enough to handle not only municipal traffic, but also citizens' traffic.' said Mayor Homer Nicholson. 'So the Ponca City Board of Commissioners voted to allow the extra internet access to be given to the citizens of Ponca City for free.' The second phase of the project will expand the network and wireless coverage to more than 430 square miles surrounding the city with an estimated annual cost savings of over $1 million for city residents, who can discontinue their existing internet service. 'Our goal is to be one of the most mobile communities in America, and this is a significant step in that direction,' said Nicholson."
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