St. Anne’s Church, located in Annapolis, MD, was established in 1692 and served as the Chapel Royal for Maryland. Following the American Revolution, the church building was rebuilt in 1792, which served the community until it was destroyed in a fire on Valentine’s Day evening, 1858. In less than two months, architectural drawings were presented for the third St. Anne’s Church. Construction was quickly completed, and the first service was held in July 1859. Francis Scott Key and several signers of the Declaration of Independence worshipped at St. Anne’s.
St. Anne’s Church is one of the most important landmarks in the Maryland State Capital, situated in the center of the main traffic circle. As an iconic symbol of Colonial Annapolis, preserving the historic building was very important to the City. In need of more space in the 19th and 20th centuries, the St. Anne’s established a Parish House for administration, programs, and a preschool about 100 yards down Duke of Gloucester Street.
St. Anne’s Parish vestry wanted to upgrade from its failing local NVDR and CCTV security system, comprised of 14 low-resolution cameras throughout the two buildings’ interior and exterior. The staff requested five additional camera views bringing the total to 19. The vestry wanted to deploy 4-Megapixel IP Verkada cameras that store video in the camera, requiring a fast and reliable IP network. However, given the building’s age, St. Anne’s could not remove and replace its existing CAT3 network infrastructure due to high costs and complexity.
John Purnell, an IT industry consultant and Co-Chair of the St. Anne’s IT Committee, led the digital transformation effort for St. Anne’s. With several years of experience under his belt, Purnell was confident that an NVT Phybridge PoLRE switch would be the perfect solution for the project, including the church building in the circle and two buildings just down the street. Purnell discovered NVT Phybridge at a communications technology conference and had previously used the technology in several airport projects.
Purnell reached out to NVT Phybridge, detailing St. Anne’s digital transformation objectives and barriers. NVT Phybridge was happy to help and generously donated a PoLRE24 switch to support the upgrade to IP. The PoLRE24 switch delivers Ethernet and PoE over any new or existing single-pair UTP (CAT3) infrastructure with up to 1,200ft (365m) reach, four-times the reach of standard Ethernet switches. NVT Phybridge also donated EC-Link Adapters after discovering coax cabling during implementation.
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Completely satisfied with the solution, St. Anne’s Church deployed a robust IP surveillance system to ensure safety inside and outside of the church and the parish house. “The IP cameras can store up to 30 days of video while performing analytics, which was not possible with our old NDVR,” said Purnell. “This allowed us to dramatically reduce network load and increase security, which was not possible with an NVDR or cloud-based solution.”
The reseller team from BlueCapIT was trained on deploying the switch within one hour, and the deployment was finished just a few hours later. In addition to the savings realized from the donated equipment, St. Anne’s Church saved a tremendous amount of time and money by avoiding the traditional rip-and-replace process, considering the historical value and community significance of the buildings. “The NVT Phybridge PoLRE24 switch allowed us to meet strict Historic Preservation requirements and quickly deploy IP cameras without re-cabling,” said the Rev. Dr. Manoj Mathew Zacharia, Rector of St. Anne’s Parish. “It’s incredible that we can support 4K ultra-high-definition cameras using the existing 13-year-old category-3 cable. NVT Phybridge helped prevent seven difficult cable runs and the disruption that comes with pulling cable.”
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