Fibre the key to more effective community security

CCTV Handbook 2020 IT infrastructure

Bringing reliable, affordable, high-speed fibre connectivity to a community involves more than offering fast download speeds and the ability to easily browse the Internet. Instead, it signifies opportunities for upliftment, safety and security that have become critical in these uncertain times.

The availability of fibre in a neighbourhood results in service providers delivering more innovative solutions that depend on high-speed connectivity at affordable rates. The healthy competition between service providers sees home users having access to a range of packages to fit the needs of various speeds and at price points. This delivers significant advantages over the outdated DSL technology from only a single service provider.

“Virtually any service can be provisioned over a fibre network. For example, its high bandwidth and low latency capabilities that can be deployed within a required coverage area makes it the ideal technology for real-time applications, such as interactive voice, video and data services. Real-time video monitoring with digital security cameras can radically enhance the safety of a neighbourhood,” says Enzio von Diest, head of IT at Frogfoot.

Transforming community protection

A CCTV security camera system is one of the key elements in an effective community protection and crime prevention strategy. Such a system can only operate effectively on a fibre network because of the speed of the network offering real-time video monitoring. The visibility of video monitoring can act as a deterrent for some criminals while it can be an effective solution to identify perpetrators if an incident does occur.

Enzio von Diest.

A study examining the results of a CCTV pilot project in Benoni has found that crime declined in the areas where there was good camera coverage and increased in those areas where there was poor or no coverage. Furthermore, international research shows that crime decreased by approximately 13% in CCTV areas compared with the control areas of the study.

“Traditionally, security companies relied on wireless and DSL offerings when it came to community protection solutions such as CCTV. However, because the underlying infrastructure that carries video data is based on open spectrum wireless services or contended in nature, CCTV coverage comes down to best effort. This means network stability is unreliable and the quality of the video feed, a critical component to identifying faces, is not what it should be,” says von Diest.

For its part, fibre removes environmental variables such as humidity, lack of aerial line-of-sight and attenuation on copper cables, amongst others, as well as more malicious or unpredictable elements such as vandalism to wireless sites. And because of the higher bandwidth and consistency of the fibre network, it allows for radically improved video quality, the key to providing effective surveillance.

Security in practice

Three years ago, Frogfoot partnered with the Constantia Valley Watch association and the Jonkershoek SRA communities to provide fibre backbones as the underlying technology platform for enabling digital security camera streaming in real-time to central servers for archiving and real-time monitoring.

“The Jonkershoek SRA project has gone extremely well and we are utilising the fibre to its full potential,” says Helmi Dreijer from the JSRA community project. The fibre network enabled an effective system and without such a network it would be almost impossible to ensure reliability. The only challenges remaining are to ensure a stable power network.

“For remote access we utilise a Vox/Frogfoot Internet access gateway to the Jonkershoek SRA private fibre network. We have a 200 Mbps gateway and multiple users can access the video management system remotely. With support of Stellenbosch University, we have 24/7 monitoring of the adjacent areas to the campus, providing a safe environment to the advantage of students and the community. When suspicious activities are identified via the cameras, the information is passed on to the patrol cars in the area. This ensures an instant and reliable response based on real-time information.”

Currently, the JSRA has 85 cameras in the area which are monitored. The community has also implemented licence plate recognition, logging traffic coming into Stellenbosch and into the area.

“Most homes are now connected to fibre and they are enjoying the high speed and reliable connectivity that they did not have access to previously. The deployment of the cameras on the fibre network was only possible if there was a business case for the community to use the same network for their private Internet needs. This helped us achieve our goals. As a community, we would recommend fibre, not just for the home, but also for providing added security in a neighbourhood,” says Dreijer.

Since implementing the technology, crime in the area decreased by 25% over the three year period. Incidents of breaking into vehicles have disappeared while actual vehicle thefts have also seen a decline.

The road ahead

Of course, the application of security solutions in neighbourhoods using fibre is not limited to only CCTV.

“Fibre technology and its application is continuously evolving. The existing network can be further utilised for additional requirements of security organisations. For example, data storage can be backed up off-site, communication can be offered wirelessly and wired for redundancy, access control systems may be linked more securely with encryption and so on. Fibre removes the conventional barriers of connectivity as we know it. And with easy equipment upgrades, it is a future proof connectivity medium that has unlimited capacity,” concludes von Diest.

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

The benefits of Managed File Transfer
IT infrastructure Products
Blue Turtle Technologies looks into how a Managed File Transfer platform benefits businesses, as opposed to the usual FTP or SFTP suspects.

Accelerating your Zero Trust journey in manufacturing
IT infrastructure Cyber Security Industrial (Industry)
Francois van Hirtum, CTO of Obscure Technologies, advises manufacturers on a strategic approach to safeguarding their businesses against cyber breaches.

Cyber resilience is more than cybersecurity
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice Cyber Security Integrated Solutions IT infrastructure
Hi-Tech Security Solutions held a round-table discussion focusing on cyber resilience and found that while the resilience discipline includes cybersecurity, it also goes much further.

Keeping devices in check
Cyber Security Asset Management, EAS, RFID IT infrastructure
Kaspersky patents new technology for analysing relationships between electronic devices to counter cyberattacks launched through connected IoT devices.

IQ WiFi 6 supporting users and security installers
IT infrastructure Products
The IQ WiFi 6 is a new purpose-built mesh router solution for homes and businesses with security, automation and Wi-Fi devices.

Considering cloud downtime insurance?
Arcserve Southern Africa Cyber Security IT infrastructure Security Services & Risk Management
Byron Horn-Botha, business unit head, Arcserve Southern Africa, reveals three vital steps that you must consider to ensure business continuity before you buy insurance.

A robust OT cybersecurity strategy
Editor's Choice Cyber Security IT infrastructure Industrial (Industry)
Cyber experts are still struggling to convince senior management to spend money to protect their control system assets, resulting in a lack of even basic measures to protect control systems.

IT security at the core of smart cities
Cyber Security IT infrastructure Government and Parastatal (Industry)
The success of service delivery and public access to universal Wi-Fi, home automation and smart sensors is based on increased IT security.

Securing IoT devices to maximise their value
IT infrastructure Cyber Security
Anything that is connected to the Internet is a potential security vulnerability, and IoT devices are increasingly targets through which cybercriminals infiltrate networks.

Axora launches Metals and Mining Innovation Forecast 2022/23
IT infrastructure Security Services & Risk Management
Miners making super-slow progress towards digital transformation despite universally designating it ‘critical to survival’, with cybersecurity one of the concerns hindering progress.