The National League of Cities’ has selected the City of Rock Hill, South Carolina to display its customer-driven citywide Wi-Fi system, based on Tropos, at the Congress of Cities Exposition, November 10-14, in San Antonio, TX. Rock Hill was one of a select group of U.S. cities chosen by the National League of Cities to share experiences with innovative and unique programs or services.
In 2006, Rock Hill installed a Tropos wireless broadband network citywide as a foundation for deploying a wide range of municipal services. The City was one of the first in the world to implement a citywide Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and fixed leak detection system. Not only has this real time meter data resulted in operational savings through greater efficiencies in manpower, it has enabled the City to offer enhanced customer services such as real time access to accounts and rate of use.
According to Rock Hill City Manager Carey Smith, the City incorporated the creation of a citywide Wi-Fi network as part of its strategic plan several years ago. “We knew that a Wi-Fi system had many practical uses in terms of maximizing manpower by utilizing the latest technology. The system is now used by all City Departments and facilities and has resulted in resource conservation, greater internal efficiencies and improved customer service capabilities,” said Smith.
While meter reading was the first key application to utilize the Tropos Network, the city experiences daily cost savings for a wide range of additional applications from law enforcement to public safety to public works. For example, the Police Department estimates that officers are out in the field two hours more per day because of the increased efficiencies in daily operations through use of the Wi-Fi network; the Fire Department can access information on the presence of hazardous materials en route to an emergency call.
James “Jimmy” G. Bagley, Jr., Public Services Administrator/CIO for the City of Rock Hill was instrumental in planning and implementation of the citywide Wi-Fi network. “We wanted to build a foundation for the City’s future rather than just an AMR (Automated Meter Reading) system,” said Bagley. “With our high-speed Wi-Fi infrastructure, we now have the capacity to continue delivering many different City services – all on the same low cost, reliable network.”