Chevron builds citywide Wi-Fi network for Burleson, Texas

Can it get weirder than this? Chevron Energy Solutions, a unit of Chevron Corporation (yes, THAT Chevron), announced it has entered into a contract with the City of Burleson in Texas to construct a citywide wireless broadband network and implement an automated water meter reading pilot project. But it’s not so strange considering that Corpus Christi has a massive citywideCan it get weirder than this? Chevron Energy Solutions, a unit of Chevron Corporation (yes, THAT Chevron), announced it has entered into a contract with the City of Burleson in Texas to construct a citywide wireless broadband network and implement an automated water meter reading pilot project. But it’s not so strange considering that Corpus Christi has a massive citywide Wi-Fi network for meter reading AND everything else (public access, public safety, etc.) being deployed by Northrop-Grumman (download 4.5mb Powerpoint presentation delivered by Jeffrey King of NGC at my Atlanta conference).

Burleson will use the network for municipal operations and public access:

– Enhancing operational efficiencies for departments using mobile public safety communications;

– Improving cost savings through reduced wireless access expenses (cancelling mobile phone subscriptions?);

– Curbing water loss and bolstering revenues through the installation of automatic meter reading technology: and,

– Creating an opportunity to realize revenues from the sale of Wi-Fi Internet services to residents and businesses.

The pilot project will allow Burleson to test the effectiveness of Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) technology using 30 water meters that have been retrofitted or replaced with wireless transmitting devices. City workers can remotely read water meters, saving the time and expense of manually reading the meters. The AMR technology will also provide accurate and more frequent readings that will allow the City to respond to leaks more quickly, thereby curtailing water loss and saving money for ratepayers.

“The implementation of these technologies will mean that citizens of Burleson will realize improved quality and speed of service by City staff,” stated the City’s Director of Information Technology, Mark Eder. “Another benefit is the availability of wireless services for laptops and other digital devices in public spaces.”

“The City of Burleson has taken a big step in the right direction,” noted Chevron Energy Solutions president, Jim Davis. “We fully expect these projects will help the City more effectively manage water conservation efforts and realize substantial operational efficiencies from the new wireless communications and automatic meter reading technologies.”

Chevron Energy Solutions is utilizing technology partner RedMoon Broadband on the project. Red Moon has unwired Addison and Southlake, both in Texas.

What exactly does Chevron Energy Solutions do? According to the press release, it “partners with institutions and businesses to improve facilities, increase efficiency, reduce energy consumption and costs, and ensure reliable, high quality power for critical operations. Its projects reduce air emissions, extend fuel supplies, enhance indoor environments, and are funded by the energy savings they generate, saving taxpayer dollars.”

Not so obvious partners for municipalities

Madison, Wisconsin is rolling out a citywide network with the help of Cellnet – not a traditional service provider. Cellnet provides fixed-network data communication systems and automation solutions to the utility industry. It is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and it supplies gas, water, and electric utilities with networks that enable them to communicate with residential and commercial and industrial (C&I) endpoints for applications such as automated meter reading (AMR), distribution automation (DA), and SCADA.

So, we are seeing companies that deploy traditional city infrastructure now building wireless infrastructure. In both instances, the companies deploying the networks are partnering with ISPs. Very cool.

Comments

  1. […] While most of the mainstream media focus on large players like EarthLink and their partnerships with companies like Google in places like San Francisco, it’s actually in smaller cities like Tempe, Corpus Christi, St. Cloud and Addison that progress is being made, with the help of local service providers such as Neoreach and Red Moon Broadband or unlikely partners such as Northrop-Grumman (Corpus Christi) and HP (St. Cloud). Even more unlikely partners have surfaced recently in the form of Chevron (Burleson, Texas) and Cellnet (Madison, Wisconsin). But this is what makes muni wireless so interesting and dynamic: it’s new so people try out different configurations, business models and partnerships, and they try to figure out how city or countywide network can serve so many different types of users (municipal, business, utility, residential, public safety). […]