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The Day in the Life: Fitzroy Brown

Welcome to DoIT's Day in the Life series, shining a spotlight on the incredible contributions of our team members to Boston's digital infrastructure. Kicking off the series is Fitzroy Brown, our esteemed Principal Network Engineer, whose dedication and expertise play a pivotal role in keeping the city connected seamlessly.

This is a photo of Fitzroy Brown, a Network Engineer for the Department of Innovation and Technology in Boston.

Meet Fitzroy Brown, our Principal Network Engineer, who joined the City of Boston’s Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) team in June 2019. Before embarking on this exciting journey, Fitzroy brought his skills from the private sector to the city, seeking a fresh challenge. His role is pivotal, as he oversees BoNet, the City of Boston’s Optical Network, a very high speed fiber optic backbone connecting and protecting Boston. Fitzroy also plays a key role in the Wicked Free Wi-Fi expansion project that seeks to bridge the digital divide in internet access for Boston residents throughout every neighborhood.

Working alongside a team of talented and dedicated individuals, Fitzroy finds immense joy in his job. They aren't confined to the Network Operations Center; instead, they venture into the field, tirelessly ensuring the entire city stays connected. "We explore almost every edge of the City to make sure the City of Boston remains a connected city," Fitzroy shares, highlighting the team's dedication. For Fitzroy, it's about making the unseen, seen. He is part of a team that enhances the visibility of the network infrastructure, making the behind-the-scenes aspects more manageable, secure, and efficient for city government operations.

This is a photo of Fitzroy Brown, a Network Engineer for the Department of Innovation and Technology in Boston.

"BoNet is lighting the path toward a more interconnected future for both Boston and its residents. It goes beyond mere connectivity; at DoIT, our projects are designed to empower BoNet in delivering innovation and technology directly to the people. The Wicked Free Wi-Fi initiative stands as a compelling testament to these ongoing efforts," expresses Fitzroy.

In one of his standout projects, Fitzroy and his team successfully upgraded Boston Public Schools' internet speed to 1 gigabyte per second on BoNet, linking 125 schools and promoting fair internet access. Now, every City department relies on BoNet for their internet traffic. Also, Fitzroy was part of a major refresh of City Hall’s network fork-lifting and replacing old switches, routers, and firewalls with next generation equipment to better serve City Hall’s daily operations. Currently, he is working on a refresh project for wireless services at City Hall which will provide higher bandwidth and faster connections while addressing the challenges of a 1960s building.

Fitzroy Brown with his team members on the NOC Team

Brett Haynes, The Director of Network and Telecommunications Services, says, "Fitzroy's dedication and expertise are the backbone of our network, ensuring Boston remains a connected, innovative city." Fitzroy's enthusiasm reflects the spirit of our team, showcasing the unwavering commitment to making Boston the best it can be—one connection at a time." As the team continues to push boundaries and foster innovation, Brett's acknowledgment of Fitzroy's crucial role highlights the collective dedication driving Boston towards a future marked by connectivity, technological excellence, and community spirit.

While Fitzroy thrives on challenges, he acknowledges the resilience of his team, especially in a city undergoing extensive construction with frequent fiber breaks. ”When dealing with public safety, school online testing, and access to city resources, firehouse fast responses to fiber breaks throughout the city is critical. Having an OTDR test equipment to transmit light down the fiber helps in locating distance to bends and breaks to quickly restore BoNet service.” Even with the challenges of maintaining a robust network in a city undergoing extensive construction, Fitzroy still finds solace and purpose in being part of a team that ensures connectivity for families, including his own, in Hyde Park. 

Fitzroy Brown fixing wires

Ultimately, Fitzroy's vision is clear: to build a world-class network that supports the aspirations of a world-class city. His work isn't just about technology; it's about connecting people, building bridges, and making sure Boston thrives. Fitzroy Brown, our Principal Network Engineer, is at the heart of it all, making the "unseen" seen, one connection at a time.

Fitzroy Brown in City Hall standing and smiling.


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