AWS Public Sector Blog

How the City of Canton worked with Wi-Fiber to build a safer and more connected community

In 2020, the City of Canton, Ohio set out to build a better, safer, and more connected community. The city worked with government technology (GovTech) company Wi-Fiber, a network infrastructure provider using AWS Direct Connect from Amazon Web Services (AWS). Wi-Fiber combined the City of Canton’s wireless hardware, existing copper, and fiber, where available, to connect hundreds of installed devices alongside roadways, intersections, and buildings. In two years, Canton successfully intertwined its legacy infrastructure with Wi-Fiber’s technology to maximize efficacy and minimize cost.

Migration and deployment

The City of Canton worked with Wi-Fiber to migrate from a 300 Mbps network environment to a 100 Gbps capability through AWS Direct Connect via Wi-Fiber’s private network service anchored at the Cologix Data Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Wi-Fiber custom builds hardware, software, and networks, outfitting them with optical and internet of things (IoT) sensors that allow municipal entities to capture and visualize data to improve operational efficiency, deliver real-time outcomes, and promote enhanced community safety. Deployment requires limited disruptions, and minimal manpower to implement.

Initially Wi-Fiber’s deployments focused on public safety solutions, such as license plate recognition (LPR). As the deployments proved successful, they broadened work to include every municipal function across the city with a modular “system of systems” approach. In 2020, Canton’s chief of police, Jack Angelo, wanted to extend public safety monitoring city-wide, saying “Eventually our goal is to have most all of the city covered,” by using Wi-Fiber’s extensive broadband mesh network.  Today, the city is nearly there. Canton’s public safety, traffic management, parks and recreations, libraries, community centers, city hall, and housing authority have all benefited from a unique user experience.

From public safety to beyond

In the last two years, the city has activated its own private network to enable control and efficiency without massive municipal investments. The City of Canton built an entire network of cameras, sensors, and hardware that offers real-time monitoring and measuring for license plate recognition, traffic management, digital inclusion, broadband to the home, and more.

The National Football League (NFL) Hall of Fame induction and associated events, hosted in Canton, can effectively double or triple the city’s population for a full week. Wi-Fiber maintains interoperability for 13 different public safety institutions during this event, including safety and traffic management aspects as well as pedestrian parade flows.

Canton’s new network also has the ability to identify and track stolen vehicles, leading to rapid recovery and lessening pursuits. The city installed approximately 25 different LPR cameras that correlate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and state hot-list registries. “We’ve had alerts on stolen cars from the license plates readers, even able to follow the cars on the cameras, and we’re able to make arrests without pursuits,” Chief Angelo said.

The overarching solution offered tangible results within the community, with thousands of traffic and safety incidents identified since implementation. The automated intelligence has provided necessary information to assist in discovery and appropriate legal action. As a whole, the city has already received financial return over the course of utilizing Wi-Fiber’s private network and interoperable single-pane solution.

Learn more about cloud for justice and public safety

Depending on a community’s needs and existing infrastructure, cities can use Wi-Fiber to scale as a smart city and advanced outcome solution provider. Learn more about Wi-Fiber. Read more about how state and local governments use AWS to power justice and public safety solutions at the AWS Cloud for Justice and Public Safety hub.

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Adair Grover

Adair Grover

Adair Grover is the founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Wi-Fiber. He is a national leader in building indoor and outdoor, public, and private networks around the globe. Wi-Fiber is an industry-leading, Best of CES Smart City company which has an unprecedented and holistic approach to smart deployments. Wi-Fiber’s knowledge of networks has resulted in delivering the first multi-variable mobile edge computing (MEC) platform. Wi-Fiber technologies echo Adair’s core business philosophy: efficient, effective, and reliable. Wi-Fiber’s nationwide footprint of deployments have seamlessly integrated legacy infrastructure into our technologies maximizing efficacy and minimizing cost to our clients.

Steve Sebestyen

Steve Sebestyen

Steve Sebestyen has been with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) justice and public safety team for two years and leads connectivity efforts for our public sector customers. Prior to that he ran business development for Ring, an Amazon subsidiary, for over three years and spearheaded their launch of Ring Neighbors and Neighbors Public Safety Portal, a public safety focused social media service. For 20 years he held a variety of roles at Motorola Solutions in technical and business roles spanning engineering, business development, marketing, product management and venture investment. He brings 26 years of public safety experience from a broad range of perspectives. He also serves as the private sector industry coordinator for the IACP over the past five years and has been mentoring startups for nearly 10 years.

Scott Montgomery

Scott Montgomery

Scott is the current leader of the law enforcement team at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Prior to joining AWS he was with Microsoft for three years as the program manager of the Microsoft patrol car and was a solutions specialist with the defense and intel vertical. Before going to Microsoft, Scott was a police officer for 13 years.