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City Of Brownsville Modernizes With Help of IBM


BROWNSVILLE, TX - The City of Brownsville, Texas, has hired IBM (NYSE: IBM) to help design an enterprise modernization project, providing city departments with a wireless Internet infrastructure and residents with an improved access to city services.
Part of the over $4 million agreement includes IBM consulting to assess the implementation of a citywide security-enhanced wireless network. The model developed by IBM is projected to save the city more than $1.4 million over the potential 10-year service period compared to other commercial wireless mobility offerings.
The wireless network will empower city groups -- including city offices, utility, ambulance, police and fire departments -- to better serve residents by exploiting remote monitoring and access to real-time information.
IBM also will help the city form a non-profit organization for providing wireless Internet access, aimed at improving technology availability and increasing the technology skills of Brownsville citizens, particularly the city’s youth.
Brownsville has contracted IBM to design and Rioplex Wireless to maintain the wireless network with three towers that will deliver Internet coverage several miles in radius via WiMax technology.
“We’re growing at a record pace, and the best way for Brownsville to provide city services is by embracing new technology,” said Charlie Cabler, Brownsville city manager. “We’ll see a wide range of improvements with this modernization effort ranging from local police getting wireless access to criminal databases, providing more knowledge in the field, to our citizens being able to more quickly apply for building permits and inspections online instead of through the mail or at a city office.”
Brownsville’s enterprise modernization project leverages IBM’s latest digital communities service product, through IBM Mobility and Wireless Services, designed to help local governments deploy wireless infrastructures to improve delivery of public information and services, drive economic development and enhance public safety.
It also includes a new Internet-based financial and community development software suite that will improve the citizen’s overall interaction with city services using software and Web tools provided by New World Systems, an IBM Business Partner.
The project, which began in 2006, includes IBM assistance in developing and implementing a disaster recovery plan and replacing a 20-year-old computing infrastructure with powerful, more efficient IT systems. A primary and back-up data center will house 36 IBM BladeCenter servers and 50 terabytes of storage on IBM System Storage DS4000 systems.
Additionally, Brownsville will create a virtual applications environment allowing the city’s IT department to easily deploy software to hundreds of PC workstations from a centralized network.


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