City of Corpus Christi and Nueces County officials are looking into the possibility of utilizing and expanding the city's wireless network to county facilities and parts of northwest Corpus Christi.
John Sendejar, business unit manager with the City of Corpus Christi, gave a presentation to Nueces County Commissioners last week during a June 16 meeting detailing the city's 147-mile network. It utilizes wireless and wired technology that allows for more than 1,400 wireless access points and security cameras.
"These cameras serve as a pubic safety opportunity, traffic management and there are a variety of other reasons why cameras in place would be a good opportunity to have," he said.
The network was formed years ago as part of a way to make utility readings easier for water and gas departments, Sendejar said. The extra bandwidth has allowed for the additional technology to be installed around the city.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Pusley on Friday said he has been discussing the possibility of bringing wireless technology to Hazel Bazemore Park in Calallen for the installation of security cameras and, potentially, wireless access points. The city currently has an agreement in place with both the Tuloso-Midway and Calallen independent school districts utilizing the city's networks, Sendejar said.
Cameras are in place throughout the city and are used to manage traffic flow and various other events, Sendejar said.
The expansion of the city's network into the Calallen area and county facilities would benefit citizens in those areas, as well.
"Users today are attached at the hip," Sendejar said. "Everybody has a (wireless) device… and we are all communicating through various types of communication, whether that be through texting or Facebook or whatever social networking tools are out there and these public locations or areas need to have access to the Internet to be able to do that."
The proposal at last week's meeting mentioned the possibility of utilizing the city's network at the Keach Family Library in Robstown and Hazel Bazemore Park through an interlocal agreement between the city and county. In return, the county would allow for the city to use county-owned property, whether it be towers, land or buildings, to install any needed equipment or infrastructure.
Pusley said the agreement could greatly benefit the county as a whole, due mostly to the fact that the city's infrastructure for the network is already in place and would not need to be installed by the county.
"As long as we can find a telephone pole out there to stick the Wi-Fi communicator or receiver on…there's basically no cost to us," Pusley said.
There have also been some concerns of security at some county facilities around the area, so the use of wireless cameras would greatly improve that situation, commissioners said.
"I think we should take advantage of every opportunity that we can, where feasible," Precinct 3 Commissioner Oscar Ortiz said.
County and city leaders are currently negotiating the interlocal agreement, which will have to come back before county leaders at a future meeting for approval.