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Case Studies

Navigating Arizona City's Growing ITS Networks

Surprise City’s Extreme Environment

As a city's ITS network increasingly becomes the foundation of citizen service, maintaining the highest availability, performance, and security is of paramount importance. EtherWAN Systems leads the way in supporting advanced transportation systems.

Just ask the City of Surprise in Arizona.

When you think of Arizona, you likely imagine extreme heat. On June 29, 1994, Lake Havasu, Arizona reached a scorching 128°F, and on January 7, 1971, at Hawley Lake, a thermometer recorded a bone-chilling -40°F, marking the lowest temperature ever recorded in Arizona. Faced with these temperature extremes, the City of Surprise is no stranger to the necessity of building robust networks capable of withstanding harsh summers and brutal winters.

A Reliable Partner for ITS Network

Located approximately 30 minutes from downtown Phoenix, Surprise is not only one of America's fastest-growing cities but also ranks among the top ten safest cities in the U.S. With its stunning mountain parklands, a regional lake, and pristine, open Sonoran Desert, Surprise exerts a magnetic appeal to businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups.

Covering 108 incorporated square miles and encompassing 302 square miles of city-planned area, the ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) team faces substantial challenges. They not only must keep the rapidly growing city's traffic network running smoothly but also do so in the face of some of the most inhospitable weather conditions imaginable. As one can imagine, the Surprise ITS team takes its network very seriously. Albert Garcia, ITS Supervisor for the City of Surprise, expresses their frustration with the previous vendor: "We were increasingly frustrated with the lack of support from our previous vendor. We had to contact someone outside of the country even for simple tasks like downloading a firmware upgrade." This frustration led the City of Surprise to seek a more reliable solution in 2012 when their incumbent network switch provider began to falter in terms of support and customer service. After an exhaustive search and extensive testing of various hardened switch manufacturers, they confidently chose EtherWAN.

Surprise’s Success With EtherWAN

“EtherWAN's support has been great,” says Garcia. “As we work towards maximizing the efficiency of our network and building out most of our communications infrastructure for the next 15 years, EtherWAN has been a terrific partner.” And like most cities and municipalities, finances and budget are always a concern. Surprise has chosen the hardened-grade EX78000 series, which features 8 PoE ports for cameras and other devices, 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, and 4 gigabit SFP ports. “EtherWAN not only provides a rock-solid product but also does so within our budget,” concludes Garcia.

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