IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Southlake, Texas, Building IP-Based Video Surveillance Network

Planned surveillance of public parks and public works facilities will address added homeland security requirements.

The city of Southlake, Texas, is building an Internet protocol (IP)-based video surveillance system in order to prevent crime in its town square. The backbone of the system is currently a 100 Mbps pipe, but the city has the option of expanding that capacity to 1 Gbps by merely turning a software key, instead of having to upgrade hardware, as the need for extra bandwidth arises.

Southlake, a suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth, has gained national recognition for its old-style town square, which serves as a community hub with plazas, restaurants, shops and public areas. To ensure a safe and secure downtown, the city decided to deploy an advanced yet unobtrusive IP video surveillance solution to increase the police force's ability to detect, investigate and prevent crime.

Initially, the plan was to link the cameras to the city's existing network using fiber-optic based services, but fiber wasn't deployed to all the buildings on the square and digging up new sidewalks and streets to lay conduit wasn't an option. Wireless quickly became the most effective and economical connectivity solution.

A high-capacity wireless networking solution was needed to ensure high quality, high frame-rate video transmission, enabling police officers to easily discern license plates of vehicles entering and exiting two parking garages as well as monitor high traffic areas near a movie theater and a Barnes & Noble store. Ultra-low latency was another major requirement for ensuring real-time pan, tilt and zoom camera control. A licensed solution was preferred for additional security and to avoid the interference concerns associated with license-free wireless systems.

With assistance from Redmoon Inc., a wireless solutions provider based in Plano, Tex., Southlake created a high-capacity wireless backbone, built with BridgeWave field-upgradeable 80 GHz wireless links. "In sizing up the city's various connectivity challenges and criteria, it was clear that gigabit wireless was the best alternative to fiber," explains Bryan Thompson, CEO for Redmoon.

The first phase of the implementation included backhaul links and 32 Sony IP video cameras. Planning for the next phase, adding another 27 cameras is underway. Southlake initially expected to be able to accommodate up to 100 cameras on its backhaul network, and now has the capacity to support five times that number. As a result, the city will be able extend IP video surveillance to public parks as well as public works facilities, which will address added homeland security requirements.

Wi-Fi mobility can also be added to support ubiquitous video delivery, as Southlake has enough scalable bandwidth to transmit video to terminals in police cars, handheld PDAs or Windows mobile phones. "Our resilient high-speed wireless network can grow along with our ever-expanding public safety initiatives to strengthen the overarching sense of security throughout the community," explains Wade Goolsby, police chief for the city of Southlake. "Southlake's downtown area is becoming a model for highly efficient and effective public safety."