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A group of eight Canadian companies has formed a technology and marketing alliance aimed at delivering integrated video, messaging and sensor networks to urban and regional emergency operations centers with an emphasis on wireless.

secure-city.pngThe Secure City Technology Alliance (SCTA), announced this week, is the latest signpost on the road to the convergence of security and surveillance technology with IT and open networking. SCTA brings together companies such as March Networks, a supplier of IP-based video cameras and management systems, and BelAir Networks, a vendor of mesh wireless systems, with vendors of large-scale telecommunications and enterprise data networking hardware and software, including Benbria, Bridgewater Systems, DragonWave Inc., Mitel and Solace Systems. Their equipment, which ranges from intelligent mass notification systems to backhaul microwave systems to high-capacity sensor message routers, could easily fit into large-scale urban emergency operations centers (EOCs) now that are being built on open, interoperable platforms.

Indeed, that is the aim, said Robert Wu, managing director of SCTA and vice president of alliances and corporate development at March Networks. Alliance members seek to present a "pre-integrated" solution to end-user agencies and tier-one integrators that are building fusion centers and regional EOCs. Such centralized response centers, which can bring together a large number of agencies at federal state and local levels, are increasingly being seen as a cornerstone for coordinating cross-agency communications and response in the event of a natural disaster, industrial accident or terrorist attack. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has created 72 fusion centers across the country. Elsewhere, cities and municipalities are following the fusion center model.   

Recently in Open Standards Category