In 2013, Silicon Valley Power (SVP) opened up its existing Tropos wireless communications network provided by Smart Cities Council member ABB to providefree public outdoor WiFi access throughout the city of Santa Clara. Residents and visitors use client laptops, tablets and smartphones with standard WiFi connections to access the Internet throughout the outdoor areas of Santa Clara. The new Santa Clara Free WiFi service replaces an outdated and limited system and provides WiFi access to residents as well as the tens of thousands of workers who commute to the city to work for companies that form the cornerstone of the high-tech industry.
The SVP MeterConnect program includes the Tropos field area communications network, which is based on open-standard IP networking and radios. Previously used to read smart meters, it has now been opened up for use by residents as well.
In the future, the city plans to use the same network to provide mobile access for municipal field workers (public safety, building and fire inspectors, parks and recreation and others) to reduce operational costs and deliver greater bandwidth.