Agile Networks Statewide Network Serves Public Safety, Private Entities

By J. Sharpe Smith —

July 16, 2015 — Public safety tower sites are a breed apart. Tasked with providing uninterrupted communications used to save lives, these communications facilities are usually closed off from the outside world. An Ohio-based telecom firm that engineers and operates carrier-grade networks is changing that.

Agile Networks has established a statewide, open-access, 1-gigabit backhaul network, where public safety is the anchor tenant, but the towers are being marketed to wireless carriers, M2M providers and industrial enterprises. Agile Networks has access to existing public safety towers, as well as some commercial towers, in a network that consists of 270 towers throughout Ohio and a presence in all 88 counties.

“Having a statewide network that can deliver broadband connectivity throughout Ohio including hard to reach rural communities is what we have been working toward,” said Kyle Quillen, chief technical officer and founder of Agile Networks. “The inclusive nature of our approach has allowed us to rapidly bring together disparate resources to transform telecommunications for public safety here in Ohio.”

The design and engineering phase of this infrastructure began in spring 2011. A year later, Agile Networks crafted a master service agreement with the State of Ohio to deliver carrier-class Ethernet services to both state and local government locations.

Agile has deployed hundreds of RADWIN 5000 point-to-multipoint and RADWIN 2000 point-to-point microwave systems. Every tower will have redundant eastbound and westbound microwave paths, creating a backhaul ring, which has fiber injection points in either direction. Microwave will be used to transport traffic from wireless base stations to the network aggregation points, at which wireless traffic will be shifted to fiber networks.

The resulting network now connects four Ohio natural gas refining plants and the home office in Durango, Colorado, of M3 Midstream, an energy company that serves oil and gas producers. Old Forge Services, a transportation services company based out in rural Mogadore, Ohio, now has high-speed broadband using Agile.

In the public safety space, Agile replaced failing radio tie lines (RTNA circuits) at that Gallia County 911 center with Level 2 Ethernet Connectivity.