The city of Ripon, Calif., announced that it has chosen Motorola's mesh-networking product to provide broadband data access to Ripon employees, including first responders and those working for the city-owned water utility.

Like many other cities using the mesh solution, Ripon's contract focused on providing wireless broadband access to first responders within the city's 8 square miles.

However, the 2.4 GHz network also is being used to provide supervisory control and data acquisition information for the city's water utility, automatic vehicle location for city vehicles and backhaul for surveillance video of Ripon parks and bike paths, said Rick Rotondo, director of marketing for Motorola's mesh-networking products group.

Ripon Police Chief Richard Bull said Ripon would consider a 4.9 GHz mesh solution for public safety when that product becomes widely available. He said the new wireless data network contract is worth $550,000.

Rotondo said the Ripon deal “was completely driven by Motorola,” noting that the chances were “slim” that system integrator Lockheed Martin would have pursued a similar contract with a start-up like MeshNetworks, which Motorola bought last year for its mesh-networking technology.

Indeed, Bull said Ripon had favored the mesh architecture after city officials completed their initial research last year, but the notion of signing a contract with an upstart like MeshNetworks made Ripon representatives uncomfortable.

“We were a little concerned because they weren't a big company; we were probably going to have to be convinced before we were going to do anything,” Bull said. “When Motorola bought [MeshNetworks], that pretty much went away.”