Florida’s ITS communications network digital upgrade nears completion


The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) says it is on track to complete the second phase of its project to upgrade the state’s fibre-based Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) communications network early this year.

FDOT owns and operates the Statewide ITS Communications Network (SICN), a microwave and fibre optic transmission network that transports and distributes ITS data traffic among regional transportation management centres (RTMCs) and the State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC). Much of the SICN capacity is used for real-time roadway CCTV camera monitoring, but the system is also used for traffic flow detection through sensors, and dynamic message sign (DMS) control. The agency’s engineers are currently staging testing each of the 800 statewide network Ethernet connections for the entire SICN upgrade network of 81 sites prior to field deployment.

FDOT’s Phase II project upgrades the SICN through replacement of its aging Nortel equipment that includes Passport 15000 Multiservice Switches, ASN routers, BPS2000 switches and BayStack hubs, with new Nokia 7705 SAR-18 Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) data transport equipment. A well-respected and capable provider of wireless and fibre network integration and technical services is currently carrying out this work. The selected firm is supplying, configuring, installing, and integrating Nokia 7705 SAR-18 Service Aggregation Routers and a Nokia 7750 SR-a8 Service Router with the SICN’s existing Harris DVM6-45 TDM microwave backbone. This will enable cutover of ITS traffic statewide with minimal impact to FDOT operations.

The Phase II project implementation also includes seamless integration of FDOT’s existing network management and ITS data transport services. Many complex issues have been addressed and overcome in the switch from the legacy analogue system to the latest state-of-the-art MPLS digital infrastructure. In late October, the staging, witness testing, and initial integration into the FDOT systems was completed ahead of schedule and on budget. In the next phase of the project, the equipment will be installed and turned up at all 81 sites throughout Florida. The final phase of turn-up and testing is expected to be completed in early 2020.

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.