VIPC, Industry-Leading Partners, and Stafford County Collaborate to Deploy Innovative Smart City Connectivity Solutions at Virginia Smart Community Testbed

Stafford, Virginia, May 04, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Networking For Future (NFF), a performance-focused information technology (IT) business solutions provider, today shared that NFF and five industry-leading partners collaborated to bring the Internet of Things (IoT) technology to the Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) funded Virginia Smart Community Testbed (Testbed) in Stafford County. The Testbed is the home for developing smart community technology for the Commonwealth and a showcase for all 95 counties in the state. It is the first Smart Community testbed involving an IoT platform fully integrated with 5G, Wi-Fi 6, and other new and innovative technology solutions.

Stafford County and VIPC, together with private partner OST, Inc., opened the Testbed in May 2021. “The Testbed is a true public-private partnership involving multiple industry partners who focus on relevant and practical use cases to produce innovative solutions using emerging and smart technologies” according to VIPC, CTO David Ihrie. “Stafford is proud to be the home of the Testbed for the Commonwealth and to be the host for this exciting Pilot Project,” said John Holden, Director of Economic Development and Tourism for Stafford County.

Starting in November 2021, NFF joined Signify, Cisco, TRAXyL, ExpressTek, and Helicore in a Testbed project to demonstrate how cities and rural communities throughout Virginia will be able to efficiently and securely deploy a Smart Community connectivity grid, streamlined broadband fiber deployment, and wireless technologies to expand public access to the Internet and improve public services and safety. This project also simultaneously supports other IoT applications (e.g., cameras, sensors, intelligent lighting, and traffic congestion monitors)

Each industry-leading partner provided the following:

  • NFF – Project design and management, network and security installation, and ongoing performance management and maintenance
  • Signify – Broadband Luminaires, IoT Smart Pole, and Interact (connected lighting system and software)
  • Cisco – Meraki Wi-Fi and camera hardware and software
  • TRAXyL – FiberTRAX “painted” fiber solution to the Smart Pole 
  • Express-Tek – Outside plant engineering and deployment services 
  • Helicore – Smart Pole foundation and structural package

The Testbed project produced replicable best practices for the deployment of broadband Internet and IoT solutions that can be adopted and implemented at the local and regional levels. The project results can be utilized by all levels of government as part of their smart community's planning and policies.

Testbed project results:

  • 80% faster design, permitting, and technology integration time frames versus the usual broadband Internet project, with a higher level of security
  • 75% faster deployment of fiber optic cables to support broadband connectivity projects in cities and rural communities (no road cuts)
  • 90% faster implementation of secure Gigabit speed wireless broadband networks in urban, suburban, and rural communities
  • Reduced energy and increased cost savings for municipalities via intelligent lighting

The project team also shared product capabilities and best practices with one another and the Testbed team, which provided deeper insights into how these innovative solutions solve broadband Internet and IoT challenges.

NFF will provide the following ongoing support to the Testbed:

  • Asset life-cycle management
  • Network and security upgrades and optimization
  • Network and security systems maintenance and performance management

“Fostering innovation and improving secure public Internet access is important to enhancing the lives of Virginians,” commented VIPC’s David Ihrie, CTO and Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. “This innovative Smart Community technology will give cities and rural communities throughout Virginia the opportunity to stay connected, be safer, and work smarter.”

“Security and scale are the IoT’s most significant opportunity and hurdle. Removing the complications of accelerating public Internet access is key,” stated Chris Peabody, Chief Strategy Officer for NFF. “The combination of six partner solutions across all types of technology simplifies how cities and rural communities can choose secure, trusted IoT access that scales.”

“We’re honored to be part of this historic evolution and have the Testbed as our first deployment of Broadband Luminaires in North America,” commented Malik Ishak, Director, Smart City Connectivity at Signify North America. “Our solution provides scalable gigabit-speed connectivity in an aesthetic manner through existing lighting grids which both extend and complement physical fiber wirelessly in the last mile of cities for broadband and IoT.”

“The future of on-demand fiber is now a reality in Virginia,” Daniel Turner, Chief Executive Officer for TRAXyL said. “Where access to fiber is unavailable, expensive to deploy, or delayed due to factors, such as permitting or trenching, TRAXyL provides a customizable outside plant fiber optic solution at significantly lower cost and faster deployment times than traditional fiber solutions.” 

“We are proud to partner with the Testbed to demonstrate how best to increase broadband capacity and accessibility through this testbed,” Stephen Brown, Executive Vice President for Express-Tek commented. “We are excited about changing the telecommunications landscape and eliminating the digital divide wherever we design and build our fiber-optic networks and telecommunications infrastructure.“

“We commend the Testbed for leading by example in smart street lighting to improve energy efficiency, while improving safety and security in the streets,” stated Josh Dotson, Vice President of Corporate Development for Helicore. “Our patented foundation system allows a fully encompassed streetlight replacement in one day, in the same exact location, leaving cities and rural communities streetscape design unaltered.”

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About Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC)

VIPC connects innovators with opportunities. The nonprofit operations arm of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority (VIPA), VIPC is the commercialization and seed stage economic development driver in the Commonwealth that leads funding, infrastructure, and policy initiatives to support Virginia's innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, and market development strategies. VIPC collaborates with local, regional, state, and federal partners to support the expansion and diversification of Virginia’s economy.

Programs include: Virginia Venture Partners | Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) | Smart Communities | Unmanned Systems | SBIR/STTR Support (Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs) | Entrepreneurial Ecosystems | Research Investment Fund (RIF) | Regional Innovation Fund| University Partnerships | Startup Company Mentoring & Engagement. For more information, please visit Follow VIPC on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

About Networking For Future, Inc.

Networking For Future, Inc. (NFF) is a Washington, DC-based company offering a performance-focused approach to delivering transformational IT business solutions. We take pride in keeping users productive and engaged by providing business and IT teams with the solutions they need to improve their performance in a dynamic, connected world.

Since 1996, NFF has delivered architecture, design implementation, professional support services, and hardware and software sales pertaining to Network Infrastructure, Data Center and Cloud, Network and Endpoint Security, Application Assurance, Collaboration and Mobility, and Staff Augmentation.

In addition, NFF, an ISO 9001:2015 certified company, is a Cisco Gold Partner, Riverbed Premier Partner, Splunk Partner, NetApp Gold Partner, VMware Enterprise Partner, Microsoft Certified Silver Partner, Gigamon Partner, F5 Networks Partner, and Coresite Partner. NFF also holds GSA Schedule 47QTCA21D0047 and other government contract vehicles. For more information, visit, call 202-783-9011, or email

About Signify

Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. With 2021 sales of EUR 6.9 billion, we have approximately 37,000 employees and are present in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We achieved carbon neutrality in 2020, have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for five consecutive years and were named Industry Leader in 2017, 2018 and 2019. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide technology leader that has been making the Internet work since 1984. Our people, products, and partners help society securely connect and seize tomorrow's digital opportunity today. Discover more at and follow us on Twitter at @Cisco.

Cisco Meraki is a cloud-managed IT company headquartered in San Francisco, California. Their products include wireless, switching, security, enterprise mobility management and security cameras, all centrally managed from the web. With intuitive technologies, we optimize IT experiences, secure locations, and seamlessly connect people, places, and things.

About TRAXyL

TRAXyL is making optical data connectivity affordable and accessible to everyone. FiberTRAX, an on-demand “painted” fiber solution, provides a new pathway for 5G backhaul, bringing data from the antenna to the edge. FiberTRAX is a simple, smart and efficient way to install surface-mount optical fiber for last mile, access drops, and final end point broadband connectivity.

About Express Technologies Inc.

Express Technologies Inc. (Express-Tek) provides turnkey telecom solutions through design, engineering, permitting, and construction of fiber optic networks and utility infrastructure. Since 2002, Express-Tek has risen to become a leader in the telecom industry with its team having over 50 years of combined experience. Express-Tek makes it easy to connect the world, meeting our customers’ needs with extensive knowledge and expertise. To learn more, visit

About Helicore LLC

In a rapidly changing industry, Helicore is helping wireless network owners create small cell 4G/5G networks faster and more efficiently. Our team of industry experts at Helicore have developed an innovative, patented foundation system that solves those problems by allowing a fully encompassed streetlight replacement in one day with minimal disruption.  While time savings is certainly a key advantage, the system inherently allows streetlights to remain in the same exact location satisfying municipalities as their streetscape design remains unaltered. Our system is the least intrusive and fastest method to deploy 5G on the market today. Contact us today to discover how Helicore is transforming all aspects of 4G/5G network densification and deployment.


VIPC, Industry-Leading Partners, and Stafford County Collaborate to Deploy Innovative Smart City Connectivity Solutions at Virginia Smart Community Testbed Virginia SMART Community Testbed is Rolling Out Connectivity