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Tempe Claims Largest Dual-Use Muni Wireless Network

The city of Tempe, Arizona was poised Monday to have a "cutting the wires" ceremony to formally launch what it claims is the largest city-wide wireless network in the U.S., which will cover a 40 square mile area.

The network will provide wireless access as well as voice-over-IP to residents and businesses of the city. In addition, a separate, parallel network will provide access for government functions.

The rollout of the dual-use network was also being touted by Strix Systems, which provided the underlying technology.

"While many cities have announced their plans to deploy wireless mesh networks, our city-wide deployment in Tempe is the first and largest of its kind to demonstrate not only the ability to provide data services to users, but advanced voice and video applications as well," Nan Chen, Stix' vice president of marketing, said in a statement.

The city said that all police cars and fire trucks will have a built-in Wi-Fi-enabled laptop that will have an always-on connection to the network.