New generation, cost effective solution delivers reliable and superfast wireless inter-site connectivity to key Council sites.
Horsham Rural City is a vibrant, diverse community approximately 300 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, in the heart of the Wimmera region of Victoria. Almost three quarters of residents live in the urban area of Horsham. It is an important service centre for the Wimmera and Southern Mallee region. Horsham continues to experience notable population growth yearly, setting it apart from other municipalities in the Wimmera. Currently, the population is over 20,000. The region is one of the world’s largest grain, pulse and oilseed growing regions and exports around 60 per cent of the total harvest.
The growing importance of the region requires that Horsham Rural City Council’s (HRCC) 250 staff are able to communicate rapidly and securely with each other and have immediate access to the data that supports the many areas serviced by the Council across its three sites - Council Offices, Town Hall and Municipal Depot.
In February 2018, Easyweb deployed a 10Gbps full duplex connectivity solution between the Town Hall and Council. Today, the extraordinarily fast radio links ensure that full data backups now take a few hours instead of multiple days. Important to Horsham City Council’s executive team, the radio links and unlimited connectivity have been provided at a fraction of the cost of an equivalent service.
Much needed fast, COST EFFECTIVE connectivity
Previously, the Council ran a wireless point to point network connecting its Municipal Depot and its disaster recovery (DR) site at the Town Hall to the Council’s Office. It was originally connected using Class Licensed 100 Mbps radio links. Users at the depot would experience delays while backups to the DR system, from the Council’s Office, would take days to carry out - with many backups falling over.
In 2017, Horsham Rural City Council started to investigate options to provide high capacity communications to its key sites. Fibre optic was the preferred solution but cost prohibitive compared to wireless options. The other major concern with fibre was the time it would take to roll out and the disruption to the town’s central business district.
The tender process selected Easyweb as the wireless solution provider based on its proposal for a 10Gbps full duplex link between the Town Hall and the Civic Centre and a one Gbps full duplex link between the Town Hall and the Depot.
SEAMLESS NETWORK DEPLOYMENT
Easyweb engineers designed the system using the NEC iPasolink EX Advanced radios. Offering a realistic alternative to fibre for 10Gbps transmission, the compact and light weight devices operate in the 80Ghz band. Due to the radio specifications, new poles and mounts had to be fabricated to ensure link stability.
The system was designed to withstand the elements while minimising environmental impact – specifically the aesthetics of the Town Hall rooftop where the equipment would be installed. The Easyweb installation crew took less than ten days to mount the equipment, carry out the radio alignment, fine-tuning and testing.
Installation was carefully timed so as not to obstruct access to the public and had to be executed following Council’s rules and safety guidelines. Access requirements, such as early morning work, site induction and permits were co-ordinated in advance to enable quick deployment.
REPORTING, MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT
Easyweb manages the radio links and remotely monitors uptime and link performance using its Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) management system. Performance alarms are quickly analysed and acted upon.
Full customer support is provided from the Easyweb Network Operations Centre (NOC) daily from 8am until 8pm AEST. An Easyweb manned 1300 number enables customers with questions or issues to access the team of skilled engineers for speedy resolution.
"The professionalism, dedication and attention to detail of the EasyWeb team lead to a smoothly run project with no disruption to service and high quality work. The result was exactly what was expected and the 10Gbps solution has revolutionised how we are able to communicate and access data across our sites."
Cameron Gerlach, IT Manager, City of Horsham