07-17-2006, 06:03 PM
Johnson County and the cities of Lenexa, Olathe, and Overland Park are equally splitting the costs of an $180,000 legal and technical study to further address the possibility of installing a wireless broadband network throughout the county.

Wireless broadband also is called WiFi (wireless fidelity). It allows users, such as government offices and departments, the potential benefit to use computers anywhere in a specific region with the right equipment without the need for wires.

If created in Johnson County, a WiFi system would allow governmental employees the capabilities to use laptop computers outside their normal offices or from their vehicles to connect to other computer networks using radio signals. In doing so, they would have the opportunity to do their jobs or tasks away from their offices without having to return to their personal computers, improving their overall efficiency along with reducing needless travel time and fuel expenses.

On Thursday, the Johnson County Board of Commissioners authorized an agreement with the three participating cities to conduct a detailed WiFi study. It will review legal issues regarding such a system and prepare a request for proposal for possible implementation of a multi-use countywide wireless broadband network.

Other objectives of the study include outlining a possible course of action in establishment of a WiFi system and how to administer and manage such a network among participating governments. It also will review Johnson County’s current broadband inventory, both among the cities and county, and evaluate the potential to use the existing resources in a future wireless broadband system.

The possible creation of a wireless computer network in Johnson County has been in the works for about a year.

The move is aimed at making county and city governments more efficient and effective in their operations by using new wireless technology to allow emergency service and other essential government services to have consistent access of information by providing a continuous data stream anywhere in the county. The possible benefits include emergency response such as police, sheriff’s office, fire and ambulance; and other non-emergency functions such as planning departments, building permits, appraiser’s office, and city utility departments.

In its action Thursday, the Board approved establishment of a project account for the study and authorized the county’s share of $45,000 with $20,000 coming from the county’s Information Technology Services (ITS) operating budget and $25,000 from General Fund reserves.

The cities of Lenexa, Olathe, and Overland Park also will contribute $45,000 each to the project account which will be managed by the county’s Emergency Communications Center.

The agreement also sets up an executive committee for the Wireless Broadband Plan. The panel include Deputy County Manager Hannes Zacharias; Walt Way, director of the Emergency Communications Center; Jack Clegg, director of ITS; and the directors of information technology from Lenexa, Olathe, and Overland Park.

Completion of the study is expected by the end of this year. It will be done by IBM, as manager, and Stratum, a small firm with a reputable record of experience and expertise in municipal wireless broadband network projects.

WiFi, which is also known as 802.11 networking and wireless networking, offers the general big advantage of simplicity and bandwidth (speed). The single-channel broadband wireless network blankets an area like a spider web through a system of fixed access points placed near street level and in close intervals, such as on street lights, traffic signals, or utility poles. Once activated, the fixed access points form a mesh to serve mobile access points, such as in public safety/ emergency or government vehicles, moving and working in the system.

Dozens of major cities in the nation are either currently developing or operating public wireless broadband networks. They include Oklahoma City and Corpus Christi, which are designing systems for public safety/government use only, and San Francisco and Philadelphia, which have systems to serve both the public sector of government and private sector, including subscriber businesses and citizens.

Source - http://www.jocoks.com/coverStories06/july.htm

07-17-2006, 06:16 PM
Sounds pretty cool, they were doing this in PA but then Verizon sued and the governor put in place a new law that no municipality could offer this service with the exception of Philly (where the gov is from). Too bad, I thought it would be better than the Comcast monopoly on high speed internet.

07-17-2006, 06:43 PM
This is dumb. If you just need access outside the office grab an EVDO card from a cellular company.

PS, no way I get my information through a govt. filter, so getting my Internet from the govt. is out of the question

Adept Havelock
07-17-2006, 06:56 PM
This is dumb. If you just need access outside the office grab an EVDO card from a cellular company.

PS, no way I get my information through a govt. filter, so getting my Internet from the govt. is out of the question

My sentiments exactly. There was buzz about trying to do something similar in North Kansas City. I don't know what ever came of it.

07-17-2006, 07:16 PM
as I re-read the article it seems that this may not be for public use but for city/county use only...


my haxor mind is curious

07-17-2006, 08:01 PM
I don't know too much about this stuff, but this has "security breach" written all over it. And not necessarily the government, but whoever is using it.

Plus, it'll be like a cellphone and your info can be tapped into. I don't do anything illegal on my computer, but I'd like to keep my crap to myself.