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Fiber Lets City Go Multimedia
Owning your own fiber network is a luxury few enterprises can afford. But for the city of Santa Monica, Calif., laying cable was the cheapest and most flexible way to build out its network infrastructure. Santa Monica's CWDM (Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing) network has paved the way for the city this year to begin rolling out new traffic-management and videoconferencing applications, as well as free Wi-Fi for the public.
"Corporate America has to lease its fiber--we're fortunate to be able to own an asset like that," says Jory Wolf, CIO for the growing city of 90,000 residents. "It allowed us to deploy new applications we weren't able to do before."
Santa Monica has invested more than $600,000 in the CWDM network, which was installed more than a year ago as part of the city's strategic plan to provide voice, video and high-speed data applications for the city's agencies, school system and nearby Santa Monica College. The 2-GB CWDM network equipment from MRV Communications was cheaper than Sonet alternatives and let the city carve out physically separate subnets for the city, schools and college.
"We didn't want to have virtual VLANs and to have to secure and configure them over our switches," Wolf says. But the fiber deployment nearly gridlocked the city's network traffic when it first went live (see "Lesson Learned).
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