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It's no secret that cities—their residents, businesses, social services, and more—rely heavily on fast, accessible and dependable Internet and communication networks to do their jobs, travel from place to place, and even keep people safe. Yet many municipalities across the country don’t have adequate access to the Internet or communications networks, and those that do rely on leased lines from commercial providers, which can be costly for both the city and its residents. As a result, many municipalities are making the switch to city-owned fiber optic networks, which allows for additional bandwidth and connectivity options for residents, community centers, libraries, and more.
After identifying the need to upgrade their radio communication network, Scottsdale Water saw an opportunity to install new infrastructure to not only serve their own needs, but those of the entire community. They wanted to install new fiber optic infrastructure that considers current and future communication and technology needs and provides a reliable, extensive and secure communication network for the City of Scottsdale to support its residents.
Instead of implementing a water-specific communications network, Scottsdale Water led a coalition that involved two other key stakeholders—the Transportation and Information Technology departments—and established a steering committee for the project, who identified the need for the installation of a city-owned fiber optic network to address city-wide needs, which would leverage economies of scale and synergies across different departments. They also wanted a communications network that would meet the increasing needs for network bandwidth to conduct business operations. Most of Scottsdale’s remote city sites require network bandwidth increases to meet citizen or city employee needs including community centers, parks, libraries, fire stations, and other community-use or city employee-based locations.
The project team worked together to document the vision, goals and measurable objectives for the Fiber Optic Infrastructure Program given the current and projected business and regulatory climate and assess the drivers, issues and needs that influenced the content and direction of the plan. The development of the plan, vision and goals involved a series of interviews with key City of Scottsdale stakeholders and department leadership, a documentation review process, and a visioning workshop, through which the following vision statement was defined for the plan: “[To] establish a reliable, secure, redundant network that provides high-speed connectivity to essential city services while supporting growth for a world class community.”
The project team then conducted a thorough analysis to determine the current state of fiber optic infrastructure in Scottsdale, requirements for the future, and the gaps between the as-is and to-be-desired status. They developed a model to translate the business requirements of the network into technical requirements and recommendations for the network design for assessment areas including network separation, service levels, security strategy and bandwidth. The team also defined construction schedules and high-level cost estimates, as well as the maintenance model for the shared infrastructure.
The fiber optic master plan provided a roadmap for fiber optic implementation projects, enabling data connectivity for the City of Scottsdale’s remote sites to meet citizen or city employee needs. The plan identified, prioritized and quantified the proposed technology investments and provided future budget planning, and very importantly, established a framework of collaboration among different departments and a fiber optic governance committee, which will drive business decisions and establish the rules to support and maintain the network. Beyond the building of the network, good governance is key for maintaining high standards and ensuring optimal operations.
The implementation of the fiber optic master plan will greatly support the City of Scottsdale’s mission to provide “simply better service for a world-class community” through a reliable, secure, and redundant fiber network that provides high-speed connectivity to essential services throughout the city such as improved traffic signals and intersection cameras and faster communication between public safety facilities and first responders. It’ll also better equip the water department to manage the City’s water supply and respond to outages and emergencies in real time. This project is a perfect example of how a One Technology approach can be leveraged to deliver greater value.