Winnebago County

In 2010 Winnebago County first contracted to upgrade the communications backbone network, which connects several critical government and public safety facilities, to a reliable carrier-grade microwave solution with minimal disruption to their facilities and staff. The current system comprised of unlicensed microwave and costly leased lines was not providing the reliability or scalability needed to support the county’s bandwidth intensive video and internet connectivity applications.

August A. Gentner, Chief Information Officer of Winnebago County, Illinois said “the demands on our network were increasing significantly every month. The unlicensed microwave systems and leased lines we had in place were becoming a major bottleneck that needed to be addressed quickly and cost effectively. Because much of our traffic is essential to public safety and the court system, we also needed a solution that would provide a high degree of resiliency and redundancy.”

With its unique features and unmatched scalability, DragonWave’s Horizon Quantum packet microwave solution provided the county with high availability, bandwidth acceleration, and ultra-low latency. Multiple protection options include 1+1 and ring/mesh architecture for carrier-grade availability. Dual channel operation delivers multi-gigabit scalability. DragonWave’s Bandwidth Accelerator—the industry’s only wire-speed bulk data compression technology—can boost throughput by up to 150%. The new network has more than 50-times the scalability of the previous transport solution and is ideal for real-time applications including voice and video. Horizon systems can also be deployed in weeks, rather than 6 months or longer for wired solutions.

“The thoughtfulness and precision demonstrated by our solutions provider, Urban Communications, demonstrated great acumen in the wireless microwave business segment. The Winnebago County Department of Information and Technology and myself are very pleased with the support and skill provided by Urban Communications.” said Gentner.

The network has been continually expanded to include many additional governmental buildings throughout the County.

In 2022 after twelve years of service Winnebago County once again engaged Urbancom to upgrade all their microwave radios to the newest generation of Dragonwave Harmony MC radios. The upgrade supported the County’s gigabit to the desktop initiative. The new class radios provides in excess or 1Gbps connections to all county facilities and provided full redundancy to the county’s fiber optic connections.