Mesh network serves three California communities

DLS-IT, a service provider based in Parlier, California, is using third generation mesh technology to provide service in three central California communities.The network, operating in Parlier, Sanger and San Joaquin, uses third generation mesh technology from Mesh Dynamics which announced its partnership with DLS-IT today.

The Mesh Dynamics announcement quotes De los Santos saying his company began working with the communities because “the digital divide applies to communities like ours, too, not only the inner city.” The three cities have a combined population of more than 35,000.

DLS-IT is working in partnership with local communities to locate the equipment and operate the networks. MeshDynamics wireless mesh nodes are installed on city buildings and other property, including community leaders’ homes and municipal water towers. In addition to providing public high-speed access to the Internet, the system supports wireless surveillance cameras to discourage theft and graffiti in two locations.

Read the press release below:

SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 5, 2007 ‚Äö?Ñ?¨ In a continuing migration to third generation mesh network solutions, MeshDynamics has been selected as the mesh networking provider for DLS-IT, a provider of computing, networking, and Internet services based in Parlier, California. The 20+ node network has been installed and is operational today in Parlier, Sanger and San Joaquin, adjacent towns located in California’s Central Valley.

“I was frustrated at the lack of attention by cable and telco providers,” said Joe De Los Santos, CEO of DLS-IT. “The digital divide applies to communities like ours, too, not only the inner city.” De Los Santos investigated alternatives, settling on 802.11 wireless mesh to distribute high-speed access to these communities. “I believe the residents of Parlier, San Joaquin, Sanger, and other fast-growing communities in California’s San JoaquinValley deserve high-speed Internet service — just like their neighbors in larger cities. I was determined to find an affordable, high performance solution.”

But the first experiments did not go well. “We quickly discovered that all wireless mesh is not equal,” said De Los Santos. “The first-generation wireless mesh product we tried initially would have required additional Ethernet connections every two or three hops to get the performance we needed over the areas we wished to cover. And if we had those, we wouldn’t have needed the wireless mesh in the first place!”

Third-generation MeshDynamics solution provides high performance over multiple hops

The answer came in the form of third-generation MD4000 family of Structured MeshTM wireless nodes from MeshDynamics Corporation. “MeshDynamics lets us distribute Internet service throughout our communities from a single carrier high-speed connection, no matter how many hops we need,” said De Los Santos. “This project would not have been possible without MeshDynamics technology.”

Over twenty nodes are distributed throughout the three cities, which have a combined population of over 35,000. DLS-IT has developed interesting partnerships with the local communities for locating the equipment and operating the networks. MeshDynamics wireless mesh nodes are installed on city buildings and other property, community leaders’ homes, and even the tall municipal water towers in a couple of locations. Along with public internet services, there are wireless surveillance cameras deployed in two locations to help curb theft and graffiti.

The replacement of earlier-generation wireless mesh products is becoming a familiar theme at MeshDynamics. “Many of our municipal and WISP network opportunities come after a previous trial- or production network based on first-generation wireless mesh products has proved disappointing,” noted Francis daCosta, founder and CTO of MeshDynamics. “Everyone loves the idea of wireless mesh connectivity, but over the multiple hops necessary in the real world, high performance demands third-generation technology. MeshDynamics has been able to provide the high performance over many hops that makes wireless mesh economically viable with satisfactory user performance.”

But the higher performance of third-generation wireless mesh nodes doesn’t come with extra complexity. “We were pleasantly surprised with how quickly and easily we were able to deploy the MeshDynamics solution,” said De Los Santos. “We’ve been able to expand the network rapidly by just installing the nodes and applying power.” Neighboring communities have noticed how smoothly these network roll-outs have gone and DLS-IT is working with a number of nearby cities to provide similar networks. “We look forward to working with MeshDynamics to bring more communities high-speed Internet service that offers the education, social interaction, and entertainment services they deserve,” said De Los Santos.