Surveillance of the public has been significantly scrutinized of late and video surveillance has not been immune from the critique. As with any tool, it can be abused. We shouldn’t lose sight, however, of the overall positive impact video surveillance has on the wellbeing of society. While remaining vigilant for misuse, video surveillance should be considered as a solution to monitor dangerous work locations, remote rail crossings, isolated regions susceptible to environmental disaster and of course, areas prone to crime against people and property. Without video surveillance, many of these areas simply could not be monitored to any degree due to economic, safety or location constraints.
Having said that, some of the locations where video surveillance is most needed often present the greatest challenges for effective video monitoring. Power is almost ubiquitous, and if not readily available, renewable energy sources like wind and solar can power a comprehensive video surveillance network. But the ability to remotely access the video feed itself is impossible if the fiber drop, the twisted copper line, the DOCSIS service or the DSL network are not available.
Commercial mobile networks can be utilized but the recurring monthly service cost and sporadic service disruptions prove problematic. In some locations served with 2G or limited 3G data capacity, HD cameras cannot be installed due to insufficient transfer rates. Fixed wireless broadband becomes the overwhelming – if not only – choice of surveillance network operators and system integrators. These private networks provide agile solutions with numerous benefits:
- Deployable virtually anywhere in the world
- Controlled by the network operator
- Tailored to meet the availability and information assurance criteria dictated by their discreet mission
- Able to accommodate evidentiary quality data
- Scalable from small networks with a handful of cameras to networks with thousands of cameras covering hundreds of thousands of square miles
- Rapid installation
- Flexible within the specific installation location
From the above list of high-level benefits, it’s clear that wireless trumps wired in video surveillance, potentially even where wired connections are available.
When properly managed, video surveillance is a tool that can and does enhance our security and quality of life. In my next segment, I’ll dive deeper into how wireless solutions work through the myriad of infrastructures that Cambium Networks has configured around the world, and provide a comprehensive picture of the tools monitoring those remote locations, dark corners and infrequently traversed roads where reliable networks are most needed.
For more information, check out Cambium Networks’ video surveillance page.