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News Updates

Upgraded Digital Information Network

The Carlsbad City Council authorized the creation of a city-managed digital information network that will improve connection reliability at greater network speeds, give the city flexibility to adapt to greater technology demands and reduce the city’s network operational costs by $2 million over the next five years.

The city’s digital information network carries data for:

  • Internet access and email
  • City applications for payroll and administration
  • Management of city utility infrastructure such as water meters, backup generators and irrigation systems
  • Public safety and building security
  • Traffic signals and crosswalk beacons

Currently, the network is provided by an internet provider. As the city's daily operations are increasingly dependent on transmitting digital information around the city, the current network comes with the risk of slow speeds, connection unreliability and increasing costs. But through an amendment to an agreement approved by the City Council in 2017, the city has access to fiber-optic cables that are already installed throughout the city. At no accessibility costs to the city, the existing fiber-optic infrastructure represents 91% of the geographic needs for the city-managed network. The remaining fiber-optic infrastructure will be installed by the owner of the existing network at a competitive rate. With the new agreements, the city can now create a more robust, reliable and secure digital information network for city operations.

For example, downloading a 4k video file on the city’s current network ranges anywhere from 1-24 hours depending on the location. With the new, city-managed network, downloading the same 4k video file would take 60 seconds.

By partnering with an existing fiber-optic infrastructure provider, the disruption normally associated with the installation of a fiber-optic network will be reduced. With this new network, the city will also have capacity to provide more reliable routine city operations, respond to potential emergencies, eliminate unneeded and redundant networks and allow for a cost-effective adoption of evolving digital technology.

Next Steps

City staff and third-party infrastructure providers will update the network with fail-safe redundancy so an accidentally cut cable would not impact city network operations

Staff will have the ability to connect the backbone for the traffic management system and in the future, the city utility systems to the new digital information network

The anticipated timeline for the creation of the new digital information network is between 12-18 months

More Information

Joe Stephenson, information technology operations manager, joe.stephenson@carlsbadca.gov, 760-602-2789

( Staff report )

December 17, 2019