First Look

Columbus Business Solutions sees Internet Protocol (IP)

FlowJamaica | 0000-00-00 00:00:00

Kingston Jamaica:- Columbus Business Solutions sees Internet Protocol (IP) Surveillance camera system the best option for increased security for both Jamaican government, as well as the country’s business sector. The service was part of a suite of other new hi-tech solutions, launched March 16 when Flow launched Columbus Business Solutions. Columbus Business is a combination of Columbus Networks - which owns and operates the newest, state-of-the-art subsea fibre optic infrastructure and Flow.

During the launch last Wednesday, Brendan Paddick, CEO and founder of CCI, spoke of Columbus’ contribution to a renewed Caribbean with competitive solutions for small and medium-sized companies. Paddick, whose company has invested over US$1 billion in the region, also spoke of the benefits of applications such as IP surveillance technology in helping developing nations such as Jamaica to fight crime.

Niall Sheehy, Vice President, Columbus Business Solutions Group, said the response to date has been enthusiastic. Based on a survey of our customers a wide cross-section of people are interested,” Sheehy reported. The IP Surveillance system is actually an upgrade of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) technology, which has been used to track crime in major cities around the world.

According to Sheehy, the IP Surveillance cameras are commonly used by banks and commercial stores but due to their high-resolution images they have proven pivotal in court cases in the United States and Britain. As IP Surveillance systems use the existing local and wide area networks businesses use to send their data from site to site, integration is easy and cost effective.

CCTV systems came under scrutiny four years ago when guest Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer died under mysterious circumstances at a local hotel. The Jamaican police’s initial prognosis was murder but CCTV evidence at the scene of the alleged incident was inconclusive. With the installation of this new generation of IP Surveillance systems, Sheehy said it may have been a different story.

“By using a small camera, the software can pick up high resolution images and movement in an entire corridor,” Sheehy said. “It would also be of great help to businesses with multiple sites who are not able to afford full time security at all locations. IP Surveillance systems allow for central monitoring of many cameras at multiple offices by a single monitoring station.”

British police, especially in London, have been using similar types of IP Surveillance systems for some time, as have their American counterparts right across the US. In fact, recent statistics say that on average Londoners are caught on camera up to 300 times per day. With security a constant concern, Columbus Business has approached local players in the private sector, including the hotel industry to try out the system, with good response. One major bank has conducted similar tests on its ATM machines.

However Columbus’ applications are also proven to enhance government/public sector processes. Two years ago, the Transit For London company updated its CCTV system with a 22.6 million-pound IP Surveillance set-up, which tracks traffic in the British capital. Sheehy, said similar systems have also been used with great effect in his homeland of Ireland in reducing crimes against tourists in city centre locations across the country.

“What’s significant about the software we are bringing to the market is that it can identify whether a group of persons are congregating in very close proximity to each other, this triggers an alert to the monitoring station where the agent can quickly determine if they are fighting or having a good time. That could help the police even further in responding more effectively to incidents,” Sheehy explained.

The Jamaican government has looked at installing CCTV cameras to clamp down on crime in key locations including: the Knutsford Boulevard area of New Kingston, downtown Kingston, Ocho Rios, Mandeville and the Montego Bay hip strip. Sheehy was unable to disclose the cost to install IP Surveillance systems locally but said prospective customers would be able to pay monthly fees and save on up front investments.

Government agencies could also use the same Technology platform to monitor traffic congestion and illegal parking, vehicles with outstanding fines or no insurance and many other areas that would assist in bringing Jamaica in line with other developed countries. According to Sheehy, Columbus has presented IP Surveillance solutions to the governments agencies in Jamaica Trinidad and Tobago and it will also be available in Grenada and Curacao. Authorities in Trinidad and Tobago recently tested the waters by using the cameras to monitor its annual Carnival festivities

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