The downtown Calgary Courts Centre was built by the Alberta Ministry of Justice and Attorney General to consolidate courts previously housed throughout the city. Alberta Justice's goal was to make the new centre a model in terms of facilities, processes and the use of technology to support a wide range of court proceedings involving multiple defendants and their lawyers.
Court employees, the judiciary, the Crown's office and defence lawyers needed tools that would allow them to communicate in real time. A complete new, state-of-the-art, fault-tolerant network infrastructure, integrating data, voice and video, would have to be implemented throughout the facility. A big challenge would be coordinating network deployment with building construction – getting the network fully operational in time for the first court session would be tight, with no second chances.
"We chose Compugen because their full spectrum of capabilities enabled them to offer to make our network fully operational, including design, installation, configuration, tuning and testing, at no extra cost over the purchase of the network devices," explains John Porter, Project Manager, Court Technology Services.
Compugen designed and implemented a secure, fault-tolerant and scalable enterprise network infrastructure for the new facility, including:
Advanced Cisco switching and routing products;
Fault-tolerance through dual, redundant core switches;
Alberta SuperNet link to a hot-standby backup infrastructure in Edmonton;
Full knowledge transfer to Court Services IT staff;
Full wireless coverage through Cisco Unified Wireless infrastructure.
"The Compugen people got in there and got all this done on time," said Porter. "They were very diligent and worked hard to ensure it was fully operational on day one."
"When this facility opened, it was the highest-technology court facility in North America," said Porter, pointing out highlights such as:
Cisco LAN provides secure, high-performance connectivity throughout the building;
Lawyers in court have access to the Internet, their home network and other external resources;
Robust videoconferencing support for remote witness testimony, court appearances & pleas;
Full digital A/V support in each courtroom allows digital recordings of all court proceedings;
Courts fully enabled for future wireless and VoIP applications.
"Compugen has been very responsive, helping us every step of the way, from design through implementation, testing and validating the final solution, resolving issues quickly and expertly along the way," said Porter.