Barnstable, MA - In response to an urgent need for practical and feasible actions to address the increase in shark-human interactions, OpenCape, the Barnstable-based technology nonprofit organization that owns and operates Cape Cod’s 100% fiber optic network has delivered a comprehensive 85 page proposal to Outer Cape Town Managers, Select Board Chairpeople, National Seashore Officials and the Cape and Islands legislative delegation. The proposal outlines an action plan to connect beaches and parking areas to OpenCape’s backbone network, as well as offering insight into innovative shark monitoring systems that would also utilize the network’s capacities.
“While wildlife management and beach use policies and procedures are well beyond the scope of OpenCape’s not-for-profit mission, one element of the situation - Connectivity and Communications - is not, “ says Steve Johnston OpenCape’s CEO. Johnston points out that the Outer Cape beaches are, for the most part, completely unserved in terms of cellular connectivity, which is a critical issue for residents, visitors and first responders. “Before any realistic progress can be made to adequately monitor and inform beachgoers about shark activity nearby, we must address the issue of connectivity,” he says. “Commercial providers have not extended the connectivity into the National Seashore in particular because they claim it is not ‘economically viable’. OpenCape’s perspective is that this is a public safety issue, as well as an indicator for critical economic development consequences that could cripple the Cape economy for decades to come.”
After the September 15th , 2018 attack which claimed the life of Arthur Medici, OpenCape convened a team of telecom and engineering professionals to study the problem of lack of communication platforms at Outer Cape beaches. One of their first partners was Centerline Communications of Sandwich, who assisted in the creation of a plan to address connectivity issues at our National Seashore. “ I reached out to Josh Delman, Founder of Centerline, which has a national reputation as being one of the best in the business when it comes to tower management and small cell/DAS deployment.” Centerline designed and deployed the DAS network for Gillette stadium for Verizon Wireless.
The OpenCape proposal suggests ways to help solve the connectivity issues at the National Seashore and other Outer Cape beaches, which in turn presents new opportunities for local development. The most immediate benefit they outline is increased public safety, in which technology could be used to assist in securing our beaches for both residents and visitors. “By taking bold and immediate action connecting these ten or twelve Outer Cape beaches we are providing a tool that can be utilized for the entirety of the useful life of the fiber (approximately 30 years), “ says Johnston. “ Towns and the National Seashore, as well as outside agencies and businesses, will now have the flexibility to test technologies and utilize the Network in innovative ways to find the most appropriate solutions.”
As part of this process, OpenCape believes that the local communities may find that Cape Cod becomes a pivotal destination for researchers and Blue Economy technologist who are seeking to study and research relevant solutions with global implications. “In short, while the presence of these Apex predators in our waters may provide certain challenges in the short-term, ultimately it may assist the Cape in diversifying our workforce and creating technology jobs based on our special relationship with the Ocean,” says Johnston.
A copy of the submitted proposal is available online at OpenCape’s website: https://opencape.org/news/opencape-shares-proposal-for-connecting-outer-cape-beaches
OpenCape Corporation is a 501c3 nonprofit technology company headquartered in Barnstable Village at the Barnstable County Complex. OpenCape owns and operates a state-of-the-art 100% fiber optic network built to serve local governments, businesses, and residents of Southeastern Massachusetts, the Cape & Islands. For more information please visit www.opencape.org