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The technology capital of Silicon Valley and home to more technology companies than anywhere in the world, the City of San Jose is the tenth largest city in the United States and the third largest in California. Spanning the southern portion of Silicon Valley, millions of residents and visitors have their roots embedded in technology with high expectations for city services — particularly wireless data connectivity.
Having rolled out one of the first municipal outdoor Wi-Fi deployments in the nation using legacy Wi-Fi technology, San Jose was challenged to keep up with a growing number of users armed with multiple and more powerful Wi-Fi enabled devices. Moreover, user expectations for access to stream video and multimedia rich applications predicated a smarter and more industrial strength wireless infrastructure. And beyond free and fast public access, the city viewed a reliable Wi-Fi infrastructure as essential to future economic development, attracting new businesses downtown and efficiently delivering and supporting a whole new generation of city services — from Wi-Fi-enabled parking meters to streaming video.
Vijay Sammeta, the CIO at the City of San Jose, realized the city needed to replace its existing municipal Wi-Fi network with the best and smartest Wi-Fi he could find that would support higher capacity public access, streaming video, and city service employees needing reliable wireless over a larger footprint of the city. According to Sammeta, the city was confronted with performance, scale and capacity issues with its existing Wi-Fi network “We were reluctant to upgrade the existing network unless we could provide an ‘over the top’ experience to users that reflects our heritage as the world’s center of technology innovation,” said Sammeta. “We simply didn’t believe there was any ‘secret sauce technology’ that could transform Wi-Fi into a wickedly fast and reliable electronic utility, since it uses the unlicensed spectrum. After we tested Ruckus Wi-Fi products, we quickly changed our mind.”