chestercountyECKey, Lancaster, Pa., announced that Chester County, Pa., chose ECKey access control technology to install at its cell tower sites to provide more effective protection for such critical infrastructure. The Protection Bureau, in Exton, Pa., is overseeing the planning and installation for this ongoing project.

In the United States there are more than 100,000 cellphone tower sites that house expensive telecommunications and other radio technologies. Chester County has 32 cell tower sites and until recently relied on padlocks or keypads, which offered no activity log and were easily compromised. The county was experiencing copper theft, vandalism and graffiti, which concerned officials. The county also had no way to grant access to technicians arriving at sites unannounced and no audit trail of who was coming and going.  The county reported that with a limited budget, network connections were out of the question.

Kathy Baker from The Protection Bureau, an ECKey Certified partner, presented ECKey’s cloud-based VIZpin service to the county.  The county officials were impressed with the technology and The Protection Bureau’s know-how and decided to install the solution at approximately 20 of the county’s 32 cell tower site — saving more than $80,000 with no loss of functionality or control compared to older panel/server-based access control solutions.

Chester County utilized Homeland Security federal grant money for this project and the equipment installed is on the federal authorized equipment list, making such a solution highly appropriate for any other government agency that uses federal funding. The solution is scalable so the county can roll-out additional sites when they have the budget.

ECKey’s VIZpin service provides sophisticated electronic access control at a fraction of the cost of traditional access solutions that require panels, wiring and network connections. County officials can now use their cell phones to gain and grant access to any of the sites; there are no keys, fobs, or PINs to remember or share.  Installation and maintenance costs are a fraction of competing systems and site-data is available in the cloud anytime, from anywhere which means no more driving to each site to administrate the system or access activity information. To learn more, please visit to