Ingenuity to build Hamilton City’s traffic lights network

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In collaboration with the Hamilton City Council’s Infrastructure Alliance and Ultrafast Fibre, Lightwire has successfully built a complex, private network that connects all 104 traffic light sites across Hamilton City and the wider Waipa District.

The network enables the Infrastructure Alliance to have 24/7 monitoring and control over the SCATS (traffic lights controllers) located at each set of traffic lights. This service is particularly important during peak traffic times.

Working within the fibre serviceability of each location, and also to Local Government budget, the network comprises fibre, point-to-point (P2P) radio links and 4G wireless solutions.

We found we could build a robust network if we grouped traffic light sites into clusters and fed fibre from one central traffic lights cabinet to nearby sites by wireless radio link. Driving through Hamilton City today, you can see P2P link radios on many of our traffic lights and streetlight lamps.

But why wouldn’t we just install fibre to all 104 traffic lights?

Installing fibre to a traffic cabinet in New Zealand is a type of non-standard install called a Non-building Access Point (NBAP), and is not subsided by Crown Fibre Holdings. Depending on the fibre serviceability and distance to the nearest cabinet, fibre NBAPs generally cost in excess of NZD$3,500 each.

Completing this 18-month project for our home city has been extremely rewarding for our Hamilton-based team. This is a great example of where local ingenuity goes a long way in delivering a project with complex technical requirements and limitations, and under local government budget.

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