Groundbreaking Wireless Network Initiative for Atlantic Shores Retirement Community

 

A UNIQUE INITIATIVE
Atlantic Shores Retirement Community is a 100-acre community that is home to over 600 residents. The Atlantic Shores leadership team envisioned a groundbreaking technology initiative that would fully integrate the community with a campus-wide network. The large resident-governed cooperative community encompasses multiple buildings and outdoor spaces, requiring strategic planning.

According to Atlantic Shores General Manager, Eden Jones, “We wanted to create a high tech environment of social connectedness, exploration, preventative technologies and safety. Building a forward thinking infrastructure allows Atlantic Shores to be on the leading edge of emerging technologies in telehealth and life safety. Ubiquitous access takes the fear and frustration out of the process, and instead offers
the opportunity for curiosity to take over and expand the world.”

Electronic Systems stepped in to the process early on to help steer and guide the development of a strategic phased approach.

BUILDING THE FOUNDATION
The first step toward Atlantic Shores’ long term goal was to build out the proper foundation to support the full technology initiative. Prior to planning, ESI teams completed a thorough assessment of the entire community. Then the first phase was designed with the end goal in mind.

Phase one included building the physical requirements to support the full initiative and launching wireless networking in the core areas of
the community—the clubhouse, on site medical facilities, and the long term intensive care living areas. A data center was designed and
deployed in the clubhouse; the new data center is robust enough to support the completed project proactively avoiding mid-initiative
upgrades. Wireless access points were also deployed throughout the core areas designated for phase one. All hardware was chosen at the
beginning of their support lifecycle to ensure longevity of the design.

The first phase included a lot of hardware installation in older buildings that were not physically prepared for the technology. ESI partnered with a local cabling company in order to deploy the wireless networking portion of the phase.

FULL PROJECT ROADMAP

While phase one allows residents to connect to wireless internet in designated areas, the full project will connect the entire campus. With the foundation built to support the full plan, designs are in the works for the remainder of the project.

The next scheduled phase of the project will include two of the high rise style residential buildings that are home to the majority of the residents. These buildings will be built out with a robust wireless infrastructure to allow each resident their own wireless network that ties in to the main Atlantic Shores service. Completing the infrastructure will require running cabling throughout all of the buildings in order to connect the residents. This phase will also include the deployment of an IP based phone system.

The final planned phase of the project will include the deployment of an outdoor wireless network that enables residents to stay connected in the more remote areas of the community. This will include the completion of over two miles of a fully hardened fiber optic redundant loop to ensure secure coverage. Adding in connectivity for all of the villas, the final phase will round out the fully connected community.

The entire project must remain HIPAA compliant as there are medical facilities on site and the network must remain secure to protect resident information. With the inclusion of telemedicine and remote monitoring, business continuity planning is also key to the project’s strategy.