Wireless in Vermont

BURLINGTON, Vt.–Summit Technologies of Burlington recently installed the first phase of MontpelierNet, a three-tiered project to put the City of Montpelier on the map of wireless municipalities. Summit developed a wireless infrastructure plan that is a blueprint for municipalities throughout Vermont and New England. By the end of September 2004, all the residents and business people will be able to connect wirelessly to the Internet. Covering up to 10 square miles, the infrastructure will have tremendous impact on the way the people of Montpelier will communicate over Internet: they will now be able to do it anytime and anywhere they want.

Johannes Jobst, CTO of Summit stated, “What I am excited about are the ways in which this infrastructure can be leveraged for both public and private use in this three-tiered approach.”

In the first phase, the Summit team constructed the backbone of a wireless infrastructure to connect city services. The establishment of relay stations allowed the team to overcome the challenge of connecting the water treatment plant, which is not in direct line of site of the primary antenna atop National Life of Vermont. Additionally, the wastewater treatment plant and the town garage are connected. With three departments connected, the city can account for nearly $20,000 in annual savings on leased lines.

Further expansion of the wireless network could enable city services to fulfill the demands of public safety while protecting public servants. Fire fighters, for example, could research the contents of a burning warehouse over a wireless link to a location database.

Phase two will provide high-speed, mission critical Internet access to businesses and non-profits. The key to phase two is the innovative pool-structure the Vermont Broadband Council has developed. Local businesses will be able to join a buying pool and, in effect, buy their Internet service in bulk.

“MontpelierNet is significant for many reasons,” said Al Levy, President of Summit Technologies. “It serves as a model for other communities where broadband might not otherwise exist or may not be cost effective.”

Phase three provides a Wi-Fi “hotspot” throughout the central downtown area. Summit has partnered with Tadaa Wireless to provide all billing and support services to subscribers. Tadaa subscribers will have Internet access in cities throughout North America. In the hot zone shopkeepers, residents and visitors can purchase high-speed Internet access over wirelessly enabled devices with their credit card.

Summit Technologies’ (http://www.summitwireless.net/) focus and commitment to wireless data solutions over the last three years has propelled the company into an industry leading position in providing wireless data solutions to the healthcare, manufacturing, warehousing, campus and public hotspot markets. Summit is a nation-wide provider of reliable and innovative wireless networking solutions including design, security and Wi-Fi. Its client list includes Alcoa, Rutland Regional Medical Center, Bassett Hospital, CapitalOne, and Keene State College.

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