Case Study - Paulding County

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY UTILIZES PORTABELLA TO OVERCOME LACK OF BANDWIDTH IN TIME-CRITICAL SITUATIONS

Industry

Government / Emergency Response

Challenge

•None of the major carriers could provide substantial coverage in the open spaces throughout the entire county

•Real-time access to critical information such as files, live video feeds was not possible

•Emergency response personel had hard time accessing bandwidth during emergency situations

Solution

Portabella’s multi-WAN bonding capabilities addresses all challenges

Benefits

Solved reliability and uptime issues in a cost-effective manner

Real-time applications such as video streams became possible

Steady and reliable bandwidth made available inside vehicles for all types of internet applications

Provided carrier diversity with multi-SIM capabilities

Paulding County, GA is a community located about 45 miles northwest of Atlanta, Georgia. It is home to approximately 143,000 citizens who enjoy growing commercial areas as well as a rolling country landscape; the best of both worlds.

William Lyons is the Information Technology Director of Paulding County.

Lyons was approached by the Emergency Management Agency of the county and asked to find a suitable solution for their bandwidth needs inside the Mobile Command Vehicle which would allow them to access critical information as needed. The residential growth of the area had pushed the current infrastructure to the limit and the county had a difficult time deciding which cellular carrier could provide the best coverage to the area. A major problem was that none of the major carriers could provide substantial coverage in the open spaces throughout the entire county.

This initiated a search not only for a cost-efficient method to bring greater cellular bandwidth to the Mobile Command Vehicle, but also to find a solid reliable connection that could provide coverage countywide. This would allow for real-time access to critical information, large file transfers and smooth video streaming. Due to the unknown coverage conditions in the areas, the common practice was to keep a local copy of the data which could result in outdated information. Likewise, in time-critical situations that the Emergency Management Agency must deal with, it is not unusual to have several agencies attempting to access information across the Internet. This creates a huge necessity for bandwidth and having users compete for connections, or delays in connections, are unacceptable.

As Lyons puts it: “We didn’t know that a single device was capable of handling multiple service providers at one time and bonding the connections together. We were aware of the technology in separate devices, but not in a single piece of hardware.”

After taking into account the specific technological needs of the network, Lyons opted to incorporate Mushroom Networks’ Bonding Appliance in order to bond together multiple cellular data cards. As a result, the emergency network now handles all requests without a hitch because it has the necessary bandwidth and coverage to do so smoothly. The Bonding Appliance is designed to balance and aggregate cellular signal strength and data between all the cards plugged into it. This makes it the perfect candidate to ensure access to critical information in an emergency situation.

After initially having some reservations about the bonding capabilities of the device, Lyons decided to implement the Mushroom Networks Portabella 141, an ideal solution for Paulding County’s bandwidth needs. The Mushroom Networks Internet bonding appliance combines multiple cellular cards into a single aggregated line. The aggregation over the cards is done even for a single session, providing the full speed of the combined connections to the user. In Lyons’ case, the appliance bonded a variety of cards, each from different mobile carriers.

Thanks to Mushroom Networks, the emergency management Mobile Command Vehicle’s location is no longer an issue when it comes to remotely accessing information. It is now running as smoothly as ever, ensuring the safety of all those who rely on it in Paulding County.

“Our connection now provides the available bandwidth for all of our responding agencies to access our real-time information. They are able to access resources back at the office or across the Internet as needed.”

William Lyons, IT Director, Paulding County

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