March 1, 2011 Sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent
Pennsylvania is expanding its public safety network to cover all governments, citizens and businesses throughout the state.
Pennsylvania has always been proactive when it comes to public safety communications. It was one of the first in the nation to create a statewide public safety network, and the state has continued to improve that network over the years to provide the commonwealth’s first responders with the tools necessary to do their jobs. Now the state is expanding its public safety network, not only to provide law enforcement with the latest broadband applications in the field, but also to ensure that governments, citizens and businesses throughout Pennsylvania have access to broadband as well.
“The network itself is a tremendous asset. It was capable of doing a lot more than just supporting the public safety radio system,” said Jim Parcels, Director of Systems Management for the Pennsylvania Office of Public Safety Radio Services (OPRS), which originally deployed the microwave network. “It’s an IP network, which means it’s capable of doing a lot more for the state.”
The Original Public Safety Network
In 1999, Pennsylvania decided to create a consolidated public safety radio system for all state radio users. A single public safety radio system would help Pennsylvania resolve compatibility issues between jurisdictions, make data sharing easier among first responders, and simplify compliance
with FCC and Department of Homeland Security standards. The state chose Alcatel-Lucent to build a new microwave system as the communications backbone to support this network.