Corpus Christi to Light Wi-Fi Grid

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The city of Corpus Christi, Texas, is the latest to get airborne, tapping Northrop Grumman Corp. to provide a $23 million citywide wireless-broadband infrastructure and an automated meter-reading system.

Northrop Grumman's information-technology sector will design and install a broadband-wireless system for city government and public access. It will serve as project manager and work with technology providers including Wi-Fi outfit Tropos Networks to build the network.

When complete, the system will provide expanded information delivery for police, fire and emergency services, including the ability to send and receive live video feeds.

One of the first applications brought online will be an automated water-meter-reading system that can collect usage data via the wireless network for city utilities’ monitoring and billing. In the process, about 75,000 water and gas meters will be replaced with automated meter readers, while the remainder will be retrofitted to communicate wirelessly.

"We expect to derive cost-saving efficiencies based on anytime, anywhere access to the information our field workers need to serve our citizens,” said Ogilvie Gericke, chief information officer for Corpus Christi. “Virtually every department has identified ways we can use the power of this network to do our jobs better and lead us to a new era of service and citizen-government connectivity."

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