West Chicago is home to a new burgeoning technology park that promises redundant connectivity with multiple communication carriers; the 800-acre industrial park under development in West Chicago holds promise of up to 2,000 local jobs, using an assortment of communication options to attract high-tech-oriented tenants.

DuPage National Technology Park (DNTP) is owned by the DuPage Airport Authority (DAA) and is being developed by CenterPoint Properties of Oak Brook, Ill. The DNTP business plan calls for 2 million square feet of industrial space, 2.6 million square feet dedicated to technology firms and 600,000 square feet that contain other businesses, such as retail, restaurants and commercial firms.

DNTP’s telecom strategy combines three fiber optic rings, multiple-carrier access and a 1 gigabit Ethernet switch/router facility to form what CenterPoint calls a “mission-critical, data-sensitive, security-sensitive operation.”

According to Jim Michalik, a registered communications distribution designer (RCDD) consultant with Sentinel Technologies of Downers Grove, Ill., there are two Tier 1 network point of presence (NetPOP) facilities contained inside the park—NetPop No. 1 on the north and NetPop No. 2 further south.

Multiple fiber rings with traditional telecom choices ensure signal paths exist even when problems develop in part of the communication network.

“Each provider brings services in from one direction through the park’s north entrance and services in through the park’s south entrance,” Michalik said. “For example, AT&T brought high-speed services in from their West Chicago central office through the park’s north entrance. They also brought complementary services in from their Geneva, Ill., central office through the park’s south entrance.”

The West Chicago central office (CO) ultimately connects with the Chicago Loop, then with Milwaukee, and on until reaching the East Coast. In turn, AT&T’s Geneva office connects to Aurora, Ill., which connects to Kansas City, Minneapolis, and on until it reaches the West Coast. All of these COs also connect with Lisle and Oak Brook, so if a circuit is severed, service continues.

The park is largely still in the development stage, but there are several starts and one complete tenant in place within the park.

Pella Corp. has its headquarters on the far south side of the park. The cyber continuity center (CCC) I building is under construction, while CCC II still is in the design phase. Pella installed a private fiber link between the two CCC structures.

For more information on the DNTP project, visit www.dntp.com. 

New Generation of Mass Notification Systems

The days are over when an array of loud sirens will warn the public of impending danger. A new breed of mass notification systems (MNS) is being developed, marked by interoperability features and an array of monitoring and communications capabilities.

MNS manufacturers, such as MadahCom Inc. of Sarasota, Fla. and Federal Signal Corporation of Oak Brook, Ill., are designing systems with unique voice and data transmission properties and with interoperable features to permit coordination of mass notification efforts with a broad range of first responder and other security forces. Part of the reason these manufacturers are producing new products is there is a need to distinguish between different kinds of emergencies, which require different levels of response.

The demand for interoperability and coordination of MNS systems into larger emergency preparedness programs are key factors in driving developments in the field.

“The field of mass notification systems and personnel alerting systems (PAS) has undergone a revolution in the past few years,” said Alan Avidan, MadahCom’s senior vice president of sales and marketing. “What is new is the emergence of new capabilities of MNS to deliver information through secure wireless networks; the ability to connect multiple local MNS systems into larger, regional structures for more effective alert dissemination; and sensor data collection and new interoperability features with command and control systems for better situational awareness and control.”

David R. McConnaughey, president of the Federal Signal Safety and Security Systems Group, said, “Mass notification systems for public safety have been in use to alert the public for decades. Combining traditional warning systems with newer interoperable software capabilities offers a unique solution for public safety and security. With these solutions, citizens can be instantly alerted of evacuation instructions, storm warnings and Amber Alerts.” 
       
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