Sprint and Harris team up to make the 2010 Census count

With 2009 halfway over, the US Government is gearing up for what’s sure to be one of the next year’s biggest undertakings: the tedious process of counting every single one of its citizens. That’s right folks, it’s T-minus 9 months to the 2010 Census.

It’s a huge job for sure, and that’s exactly why the Census Bureau has partnered with with Sprint and Harris Communications to get the job done. Sprint’s bringing their nationwide network to the table, and Harris (a wireless equipment and systems producer) is handling the hardware for all the Census takers on the job. That combination means realtime updates from the field, and hopefully greater accuracy than previous attempts. Things have been going swimmingly so far: 140,000 field workers have been up and running with the Sprint-Harris units since April, and so far features like integrated GPS and biometric security have been serving them well.

According to a recent release, Sprint’s really throwing their weight into this whole Census business. Integration with Harris equipment is only a fraction of how involved they’re getting; in addition, Sprint is providing

* Approximately 500 Sprint Global MPLS sites across United States, allowing local Census offices to connect on a single IP-based network

* Roughly 1,500 managed devices including routers, switches, firewalls and Intrusion Detection Service (IDS) for additional security

* More than 150,000 active telemetry wireless devices that will allow workers to collect data remotely, resulting in more accurate reporting and substantially less use of paper

* About 1,500 mobile broadband connection cards, offering high speed connectivity on America’s most dependable 3G network*

* Significant professional services and integration expertise such as on-site security management, dedicated program management, and data center hosting services from Sprint, providing the critical infrastructure “glue” for one of the most complex activities of 2010

Hopefully, all the hard work pays off and we get the most accurate Census ever, but we’ll have to take their word for it: folks like you and me can’t see the raw data until 2082.