OIT's Radio Services Project
By Lavana Snyder and Mary Cloutier, OIT
The wireless radio communications network services is responsible for upgrades, maintenance support, and replenishment for radio voice and data services to all state government agencies that have radio communications needs.
In addition, the Maine State Communication Network Program (MSCommNet) is responsible for managing the $50 M project that will upgrade the infrastructure sites, replace the microwave system and the VHF radio communication system for all State agency users. The consolidation of all radio services into OIT will result in a higher level of interoperability and radio services, easier transitions to upgraded technologies, and will lower costs while obtaining a higher level of accountability.
The radio communication network supports the radio services for four state dispatch centers providing support to all law enforcement officers across the state agencies, all portables and mobiles, microwave equipment, and consoles. Other services that are available through radio communication network services are RF (radio frequency) coverage, frequency licensing, and interference studies, frequency coordinators for all public safety and transportation agencies within the entire state. In addition Radio Services provides the technical expertise required to support the Governor’s effort to consolidate PSAP centers and Dispatch centers.
Successful major projects completed by network services in the last year include:
- OIT teaming with MEMA and DPS completed the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) document. This provides for allowing interoperability on site for federal, state and local entities for the duration of an incident.
- The initial MSCommNet design, created across nine agencies, establishes the technical approach which includes rebuilding or upgrading towers, equipment shelters and back-up power sources at communication sites, replacing microwave and VHF radio technologies.
- Completed the procurement process for the Maine Hospital Association, enabling the $400 thousand grant to replace radio communication equipment in forty-seven hospitals throughout the state.
Future challenges and projects facing radio services are:
- Establish next level of CONOPS plan, which includes use of State Region-Net Channels, and consolidation of all radio technical personnel, infrastructure and equipment within OIT.
- Complete 2006/7 Construction Season project, including upgrades to the following infrastructure sites: Cadillac, Cooper, Granite Hill, Ossipee, and Spruce. Four new towers and five new shelters will be constructed.
- Complete DHHS emergency communication plan for response to an epidemic incident. This includes establishing technical scope and licensing issues.
- Provide technical expertise to expand cellular coverage in north Maine woods to meet Governor’s Connect-Me initiative.
- Manage the procurement process that will obtain consoles for the Department of Conservation. Provide the technical expertise and management for implementation.
Visit the OIT Radio Services Project website at http://www.maine.gov/oit/radio .