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TheCityOfLoma LindaCalifornia

Project Description

The Team
T. Jarb Thaipejr: City Manager
Kyle MacGavin: Network Engineer, Professional and Commercial Internet Services
Shawn MacGavin: Systems Engineer, Residential Internet Services
Tony Andrews: Project Manager for Underground Construction and Installation

Project Significance

The Loma Linda Connected Community Project (LLCCP) has systematically transformed Loma Linda’s communications delivery systems from typical to extraordinary. Loma Linda’s Visionary and Project Team were able to help guide the Loma Linda City Council and city stakeholders in the development and execution of a fiber optic-based City network utility.

Along the way, Loma Linda became the first US City to promulgate new residential and commercial wiring standards into the City Building Codes. Comprised together, Loma Linda now enjoys a high rate of return on communications public/private assets deployed, and has taken a leadership position in communications design for residential and commercial network utility users.

The Loma Linda Connected Community Project

serversCities are measured and remembered in unique ways. Some areas are measured or known by the stature of their residents, others by their principal industries. Loma Linda has created a new way to measure cities by: technology infrastructure.

Location is key for some cities, as is their reputation as a destination for business or pleasure. Loma Linda has numerous claims to fame. The Loma Linda University Complex and associated research organizations and the Jerry Pettis VA Hospital are very powerful examples of Loma Linda’s Status as a world class biotech and health care community.

A truly outstanding differentiation for Loma Linda, however, is buried. It’s largely unseen, but it’s among one of the wonders of the technology world. Loma Linda has one of the fastest community-based networks in the United States, rivaling even advanced university campuses in speed, security, reliability, flexibility and design.

Underneath city streets and right-of-ways are a highly evolved system of fiber optic-based network components. These are the arteries of communications that permits Loma Linda to offer its residents and businesses the fastest common denominator of communications infrastructure currently available. The infrastructure used was built in under a year. It’s a story in itself.

The Connected Communities Project: Vision Realized!

How does one leap-frog from a comparatively silent community into one of the leading examples of communications infrastructure in the world? The answer is simple: vision and cooperation. The Loma Linda Connected Communities Project was driven by Loma Linda’s Director of Information Systems with the steadfast support of the City Manager and the blessing of the Loma Linda City Council.

The vision was to be able to bring the highest common denominator of communications infrastructure to a city that had been neglected by area carriers. This infrastructure would serve many masters. The City would use the infrastructure as the communications link for public safety and municipal services. The same infrastructure would be the pathway for residential and commercial broadband services, developed to be provided on a wholesale basis to various service providers and in a private public partnership run as a utility, by the City.

The highest return will likely come, however, from the attractiveness that a city-wide, well-connected data highway means to technology businesses. Tech businesses require fortified and highly available, high-speed interconnection. Data is churned 24/7, with a high regard for continuous connectivity. Would the infrastructure be able to meet this challenge?

The goals of a high common denominator of service and reliability required several factors to be added to what had become the Loma Linda Connected Community Project. These included:

  1. A method to ensure that service providers could join the network as peers. This meant allocating space and service inside a network operations center, which would eventually be built in the Loma Linda Civic Center. This became the Loma Linda Civic Center Network Operations Center (LLCCNOC).
  2. A structured method to deliver the network to all of the end nodes on the city’s network, whether in newly constructed residences or commercial structures. The Loma Linda City Council approved a ground-breaking, first-of-its-kind law that requires the utilization of a set of structured wiring and fiber optic standards into the City Building Codes.
  3. The capability to ensure that the entire network could be kept alive and operating during blackouts, or brownouts. This lead to the installation of battery and subsidiary power infrastructure not only at the Loma Linda Civic Center Network Operations Center facility, but also at network intermediate distribution frames (IDFs) that would be located at critical junctures around the city.
  4. The City Center Network Operations Center would need to make room for and accommodate third party services providers. These could include VoIP (Voice-over-IP) phone providers, IPTV companies; alarm/monitoring groups, and others that provide consumer and commercial services over the City’s network. All would co-locate in a state-of-the-art network operations center.
  5. Multiple, self healing metropolitan fiber rings that tranverse city-wide cable paths would be deployed to reduce service outages to localized areas.
  6. City Codes were also altered to encompass procedures to be used by the City and builders to help share engineering, construction, and calculate shared deployment costs in new construction activities.
Meeting the Standards

Loma Linda promulgated communications industry standards into the building codes. These standards start at the very edge of a network, where consumer and commercial network users connect computers, printers, video equipment, IP PBXs, and other equipment. Just as most every home and office is covered by the National Electrical Code that requires an AC outlet every six feet along walls, the Loma Linda Building Codes require that data jacks are present in each living space. These data jacks can also be used for phone service, personal computers, and other digital equipment.

In each residential, commercial development, or business park, an additional structure is added (or combined with another functional structure) to house a subsidiary network distribution center that’s similar to a utility room, but for the City’s network utility use.

Inside these distribution centers, are smaller versions of the network operations center that exist in the Loma Linda Civic Center Network Operations Center, including battery backup for brownout/power interruption mitigation, chemical-based fire protection, and an area devoted to service provider equipment (VoIP, alarm, signaling, public safety/municipal service and entertainment services). These highly secured rooms serve as the central nervous system for neighborhood, residential community, or business park activities and servicing.

The digital data paths are clear and standardized. A business/residential consumer plugs in a jack, which moves over a structured wiring system, through a building, to a subsidiary network distribution center, to the City’s fiber optic cabling system, then to the City’s Network Operations Center. At the LLCCNOC, the digital signals can join other connected services, including an Internet connection, as well future interfaces that cross-connect to Internet II, the National Lambda Rail, San Diego State University, and other regional/national communications services. At both intermediate and the primary switching center, network routing techniques (ISO/OSI Layer 3 Routing, VLANs, and others) are used to partition, aggregate, and otherwise highly manage network traffic. This permits virtual networks to be designed that can easily connect, at customer discretion, any office or room to any other in the city, simply and securely—and at unbelievable speeds.

Each element of the communications from end to end, are covered by relevant standards. Some are architectural standards, such as those from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and the International Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Others refer to cabling and cable structured wiring, such as those from the Building Industry Construction Standards Institute (BICSI) or the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

Loma Linda also provides a gradient of services to residential and commercial users of the City’s network utility, based on the number of buildings served and the speed availability of the service to suit the needs of utility users. Additional services can be purchased over the City’s network utility, such as virtualized phone services, entertainment services, alarm monitoring, and others. The City also has an optional set of security controls and parental monitoring methods available.

Economic Development

The very high level of performance and flexibility of the City’s network utility permits technology infrastructure construction techniques that aren’t available in other communities for businesses. The network’s high bandwidth, co-location capabilities, and high availability can suit a number of high-tech/online businesses. These include computer graphics facilities and image rendering farms, research-based businesses, online transaction processing businesses (OLTP), consumer-access/hosting concerns, and others that need highly flexible and lucid digital infrastructure.

Unlike cities where high speed connections cost millions of dollars per mile to deploy, Loma Linda already has deployed them and has made them highly resilient through the use of advanced design techniques and backup infrastructure. This allows businesses that need to plan for rapid expansion to take advantage of an enormous network asset that the City has deployed in anticipation of growth and quality of life needs.

Public/private partnerships that help Loma Linda grow take priority, and advanced GIS and city engineering services are available to prospective businesses to help them plan organizational deployment that must be annealed to the City’s data network. There is no city in the United States with this level of embedded network infrastructure.

Educational/Recreational Networking
Residents in Loma Linda’s new residential developments have connectivity capabilities that rival the top business parks in the United States. It’s possible to sustain one hundred megabits/second in a residence’s family room, and indeed throughout the house. Residents also have the ability to use the City’s fiber optic network for telephones, TV/video-on-demand, alarm system monitoring, and virtually every digital service used today. These services ride the city’s network utility either from City services, or from third party service providers.

Loma Linda created a public/private partnership methodology coupled to industry standards to achieve one of the most rapid network evolutions in the country. In a very short time period (approximately nine months), Loma Linda designed, reviewed, promulgated, and deployed one of the fastest networks in the nation. The subsequent long term asset return can be measured not only in decades, but in the quality of life for its citizens, and the commercial, NGO, and public services communities.

Technologies Utilized in the LLCCP:
  1. GIS mapping techniques and documentation of all city network assets, rights of way, and logistical needs.
  2. Active Ethernet FTTX - highly scalable, synchronous and supporting 10, 3, 2, or 1 Gigabit Ethernet rings.
  3. Active Ethernet FTTX Multiple Access Platform Chassis - highly scalable, synchronous and supporting 160, 70, or 30, users per chassis with any combinations of Fiber, DSL2 or Fast Ethernet connections.
  4. Multiple VLAN segmentation capabilities-reduces broadcast noise and allows for end user tailored networks.
  5. Layer 3 devices at the edge-helps setup proxy-sensitive end-device deployments.
  6. Wireless RF and Laser augmentation and fiber extensions-for redundancy and object transversal.
  7. EPSR/Ethernet protected switch rings - ring resiliency protocol.
  8. Network Management Systems that allows for automated bandwidth allocation, user additions, etc.
  9. Fully conditioned DC and AC power at the NOC and IDF’s and customer sites for highest availability and reliability, system-wide.
  10. IP based video surveillance.
  11. IP enabled thermostats.
  12. VOIP-friendly infrastructure.
  13. IP video ready infrastructure.
  14. Hosted Email.
  15. Collocation facilities deployed with service provider’s favorite needs ready.
  16. Redundant core utilizing VRRP, OSPF.
  17. High common denominator speed with branch localizing capabilities
Timeframe of Implementation
  • August 2003 - City Council conducted a discussion on smart home and internet capabilities in new development which resulted in a request for the Director of Information Systems to provide a specification for new residential and commercial developments.
  • December 16, 2003 - Director of Information Systems submitted a resolution and received approval from the City Council for the Loma Linda Connected Community Program (LLCCP) specification.
  • January 2004 - Ryland Homes appeals the requirements of the LLCCP. The City Council upholds the resolution which requires them to build to the LLCCP specification.
  • May 2004 - Network construction started on the NOC
  • May 2004 - Network Design Finalized
  • June 2004 – FSO installed
  • September 2004 - Quadrant 1 Phase 1 fiber backbone installation
  • September 2004 - Mission Trails integration and deployment
  • September 15, 2004 -The LLCCP provides services to the first residential customer.
  • October 12, 2004 - The City Council’s LLCCP resolution was approved to become an ordinance.
  • November 12, 2004 - The LLCCP specification and design becomes a law in the municipal code.
  • March 2005 - Quadrant 1 Phase 2 fiber backbone installation
  • June 2005 - Quadrant 2 Phase 1 fiber backbone installation
  • July 2005 - Quadrant 1 First Ring Complete
  • July 2005 - Wireless aggregation of City water well sites
  • July 2005 - Monarch Cove integration and deployment
  • July 2005 - 2 City Parks interconnected to fiber backbones
  • August 2005 - Mission Lane integration and deployment
  • August 2005 - Centrally Managed Wireless Access installed in Civic Center,
  • August 2005 - Centrally Managed Wireless Access installed in Senior Center
  • August 2005 - Centrally Managed Wireless Access installed in Fire Station
  • August 2005 - Centrally Managed Wireless Access installed in Corporation Yard
  • September 2005 - Shady Lane integration and deployment
  • September 2005 - Park Lane integration and deployment
  • November 2005 - Heritage Park integration and deployment
  • November 2005 - Spanos apartment’s integration and deployment
  • November 2005 - Wireless Mesh extended across Hulda Crooks Park
  • November 2005 - Wireless Mesh extended across City Corporation Yard
  • December 2005 - IP Cameras installed in parks on Fiber and Mesh
  • February 2006 - Quadrant 3 Phase 1 fiber backbone installation
  • March 2006 - Loma Linda University Integration
  • March 2006 - Loma Linda Medical Center Integration
  • March 2006 - Jerry Pettis VA Hospital Integration
  • April 2006 - Quadrant 4 Phase 1 fiber backbone installation
  • April 2006 - Oasis Apartment Integration
  • May 2006 - Loma Linda Academy Integration
  • May 2006 - Loma Linda Plaza Integration
  • May 2006 - Barton Center Integration
  • July 2006 - Quadrant 3 Phase 2 fiber backbone installation
  • September 2006 - Quadrant 3 Second Ring Complete
  • July 2007 - Quadrant 4 Phase 2 fiber backbone installation
  • July 2007 - Overbuild Quadrant 1 with underground fiber distribution (Based upon interest)
  • July 2007 - Overbuild Quadrant 2 with underground fiber distribution (Based upon interest)
  • September 2007 - Quadrant 4 Third Ring Complete
  • TBD - Quadrant 2 Fourth Ring Complete
  • TBD - Overbuild Quadrant 3 with underground fiber distribution
  • TBD - Overbuild Quadrant 4 with underground fiber distribution
  • TBD - Extend fiber backbone installation into neighboring partner cities with distribution of both wireless and fiber

Summary of Benefits

Loma Linda, its citizens, businesses, NGOs, and other partners benefit from the LLCCP in numerous ways. Unlike other network systems, the return on fiber optic infrastructure may be able to be measured in decades instead of years, as fiber optic infrastructure (when deployed symmetrically) has the benefit of a long useful life. This provides a long- term return on the assets deployed by both the city and its residential/business/NGO partners.

As Loma Linda additionally has the benefit of having standardized wiring components in new construction, a denominator has been set by which other areas of the city will be judged, in terms of embedded infrastructure. Unlike communities where multiple service providers have the ability to deploy broadband wiring infrastructure using virtually any plan they prefer, Loma Linda’s construction through subsequent decades will eventually match a common denominator that’s now set.

Today, up to four different kinds of broadband providers can wire a home or business. These include fiber-based utilities like Loma Linda, DSL/twisted pair copper cable providers, TV coaxial cable providers, as well as new BPL (Broadband over Power Lines). Each of these vendors is welcome in Loma Linda today, but in new construction, each of these vendors also has the ability to easily cross-connect their broadband networking into each new residential or commercial building’s standardized wiring plan, a plan built to industry standards. As buildings are torn down, and/or retrofitted with the City’s Building Code-based wiring standard, the entire community eventually becomes able to achieve a standardized expectation for service providers. This occurs whether or not that provider is the owner of the ‘last mile’ of cable (or wireless service) to the building in question.

Loma Linda also has created space inside their utility for other service providers to co-locate either at the City or intermediate distribution center level. Unlike many ‘last mile’ providers, the City invites third party service providers to co-locate in an open and competitive environment. This encourages not only competitiveness, but innovation and variety in services for the City’s network utility users and clientele.

And finally, from a technology perspective, there are few campuses or small geographical areas in the world that have the rich and lucid network infrastructure that’s been driven by all quarters of Loma Linda, from its citizens to its government to its Chamber of Commerce. The public/private assets that have been deployed are remarkable, not for their vision, but for their active, ready-now, capabilities and the realities of muscular infrastructure by any measure—today.
Loma Linda is ready to go.

For any questions please contact the LLCCP support line (909) 799-2806.