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The Smart City: SecurEdge WiFi for Government

How smart is your city? This question encompasses both the application of new technologies to support the ongoing operations of your city, and the thinking behind the application of those technologies.

Research shows that urban populations are surging: “The latest U.S. Census Bureau data showed that all but one of the 20 largest cities in the U.S. experienced population growth last year.” More people means more demand on a city’s water, sewer, electrical grid, roads, bridges, public transportation, first responders, sanitation...the list goes on. That’s why more and more local governments are turning to IoT and Big Data solutions to meet the needs of their citizens in an affordable, sustainable way.

And this isn’t just a “big city” issue. Any size government entity or agency can benefit from the informed, measured, thoughtful integration of these new technologies into their daily operations.

Preparing your city for the challenges of the future begins with a strategy. Every city is unique, and there is an endless number of factors that can affect a city’s long-term technology strategy: geography, climate, population size (and projected growth), age of buildings and legacy infrastructure, opportunities for public-private partnerships, and of course, budget (more on that later). But no matter what your city’s particular portrait looks like, the overarching question has to be: How is technology serving your citizens while protecting their privacy?

 

The IoT Moves to Your City

 

Think of all the ways the internet and its ever-increasing band of connected devices is supporting everyday operations in your city:

Traffic cameras

Public works (water, sewer) infrastructure

Power grid infrastructure

Employee email accounts

Employee devices

Police, civil/criminal court databases

Tax records

and more popping up every day. 

 

From government buildings to police dash cams to traffic light sensors, the IoT has huge potential to gather a critical mass of data that can actually be used to improve the lives of citizens and make a city function more safely and efficiently.

We are just beginning to see the potential of the connected city, and it’s an exciting time to explore public-private partnerships aimed at supporting these efforts.

 

Security is the Highest Priority

 

With all this excitement and possibility comes a sobering thought: “Small governments and local agencies generate troves of sensitive information in the course of doing business. But what may be more worrisome is that many towns and agencies are also connected to state networks or infrastructure systems—and local governments’ resources to protect their networks and stored data can vary widely.”

And again: “As a target for security threats, the public sector is unique, experiencing more cyber incidents than any other industry.”

Security is a non-negotiable for any large-scale WiFi network, and especially so for those serving the public sector. The risks are just too high to cut corners when it comes to network security.

SecurEdge offers expert WiFi network design that ensures the highest possible security standards through segmented traffic, role-based WiFi network access, and industry-standard firewall and security services.

Security is in our company DNA; it’s in our name. And it’s something your large-scale wireless network needs.

 

Cost is Always a Limiting Factor—Until Now

 

Government employees and decision makers know that when it comes to the public sector, you’re constantly trying to stretch your dollars and do more—or even just maintain the status quo—with less money.

WiFi as a Service from SecurEdge is the most budget-friendly way to provide your employees and citizens with the fast, secure, reliable WiFi they need to get things done in your city every day.

The traditional way of purchasing WiFi has been for an organization to buy the infrastructure—all the components needed to support a large-scale wireless network—up front, as a capital expense. As it always goes with technology, after a few years the network begins to show its age, as end users continue to upgrade their devices to the point where the infrastructure is no longer compatible. Then it’s time to do what no IT leader wants to do: ask for money from next year’s budget to purchase a new network.

And in the public sector, that request can get kicked down the road several times, because there are always other needs, other priorities, and never enough cash flow.

WiFi as a Service eliminates this up-front expense by bundling all of the necessary WiFi hardware, software, and managed services into one monthly subscription. Our certified wireless engineers design and deploy a blazing fast wireless network and continue to support and update it over time, all for one monthly fee.

Transforming your city’s WiFi costs from a capital expense to an operating expense not only makes it easier to budget and plan for the future, but it can free up cash for other capital improvements—and when it comes to the public sector, that list of needs is always as long as a city block.

 

Standardize, Streamline, and Save

 

It’s likely your city has partnered with various WiFi vendors and providers over the years, with varied results. Maybe the public library has one system, City Hall another, the water and sewer department still another. This can result in a mixed bag of wired and wireless hardware performing at wildly different levels. And it can make troubleshooting problems extremely difficult and time consuming (in other words, costly).

Bringing employee devices, government buildings, cameras, and more under one integrated, expertly designed and monitored network can yield the following benefits:

  • Reduced network downtime
  • Increased redundancy (eliminate single points of failure)
  • Increased employee productivity
  • Lower costs over time

 

Supporting Your City’s WiFi Now, and in the Future

 

It’s very likely your government’s IT employees are already overloaded and under-resourced, and asking them to proactively support your large-scale wireless network just isn’t realistic. That’s where partnering with a managed network provider like SecurEdge can be so valuable. SecurEdge has a proprietary services process that supports our clients’ ongoing wireless needs and ensures a WiFi network is performing optimally at all times.

In addition to all of the hardware, software, and expert design services needed to get your WiFi network up and running (or up to date), the WiFi as a Service subscription model from SecurEdge includes ongoing managed network services to help predict issues before they occur and pinpoint network problems and resolve them quickly.

Our subscription model also plans for seamless upgrades of new hardware when the time comes, with the least amount of disruption to your city’s employees and citizens, because we know you can’t afford downtime when so many people and systems depend on your WiFi network.

 

Partnering with SecurEdge: The Smart Move for Your Smart City

 Curious how SecurEdge can help your city prepare for the future on a sensible budget? Contact us to find out more.

 

IoT security checklist, comprehensive checklist to protect your network from security threats associated with the internet of things
Dana Adams

Dana Adams

Dana Adams blogs regularly for SecurEdge and other tech companies. She believes technology should serve people, not the other way around. When she's not blogging, you'll find her enjoying the outdoors with her family and two rescue dogs.

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