Hollywood Florida’s Municipal Wi-Fi Failure

About ten miles south of me, the city of Hollywood (pop. 142,000; 27 square miles; 70 square km) has apparently abandoned hopes of providing free municipal Wi-Fi to its residents. It is attempting to recover up to $3.8 million from the chief contractor, Johnson Controls. Hollywood had been named a top 10 digital city multiple times by the Center for Digital Government.

http://www.hollywoodgazette.com/2009/latest/849-city-wide-wi-fi-doesnt-happen-for-hollywood

From http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-07-02/news/fl-hollywood-failed-wi-fi-20120630_1_wi-fi-wireless-hollywood-transmitters-without-signal-interference

In 2008, the city signed a contract with Johnson Controls to install Wi-Fi for $3.8 million, an automated water-meter reading system for $9.2 million, and solar-powered parking meters for $3.1 million.

http://city-countyobserver.com/2012/06/09/johnson-controls-municipal-wifi-project-in-hollywood-fl-called-a-flop/

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Hollywoods-WiFi-Effort-Collapses-in-a-Heap-120580

It sounds like this project failed because:

  • The city’s wireless access points (APs) share the same channels with residents’ privately owned APs in their homes — a recipe for interference problems.
  • Large buildings interrupt Wi-Fi signal.
  • Providing adequate backhaul bandwidth from the APs to the city’s network backbone requires either dedicated fiber to each AP or a dense switched mesh network; neither option is cheap.
  • The Wi-Fi spec doesn’t accommodate seamless handover.

I hope that the parking meter and water meter data aren’t being transported on Wi-Fi channels; the unlicensed 902 to 928 MHz ISM (industrial, scientific, and medical) band or a licensed frequency would make sense for those applications.

Apparently part of the contract includes deployment of a licensed 4.9 GHz radio system for its police department.

Visit my website: http://russbellew.com
© Russ Bellew · Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA · phone 954 873-4695

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2 thoughts on “Hollywood Florida’s Municipal Wi-Fi Failure”

  1. Has anyone had this problem with the WiFi Water Meter Bill System?
    My parents bill has been around $70 month for the last 25 years. This November bill came in at $700. My parents home has no leaks. I opened the meter box in the backyard- found it dry and no problems to the wi-fi box. Then I opened the neighbors meter box which is 3 feet away and found a flooded hole and a broken wi-fi system. I called the city and they say theres no correlation between the two meters and my parents problem. NO CORRELATION! Its obvious the neighbor has a major water leak and theri meter signal is being attacahed to my parents signal giving my parents a false reading!!! Anybody out there having croseed wi- fi problems with their water meter?

    Like

    1. Yikes! A $700 water bill is insane. I would definitely contact the water department and (politely) inquire about your parents’ November bill. Please let us know what you learn, and good luck!

      Like

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