Break-in Radio Tower Site
By Tom Driscoll, OIT Radio Project Office, MSCommNet Outreach Coordinator
WATERBORO – The State of Maine's Radio Operations Division received word from a local fireman early Sunday morning November 1st that the radio building on Ossipee Mountain in Waterboro had been vandalized. State officials said that such a break-in will be more difficult in the future because of security updates being made the to State's radio network facilities.
According to an internal Office of Information Technology (OIT) report, a State Trooper visited the site and discovered that the door had been kicked in and the battery charger was torn out. In addition other cables and wires were also damaged. According to the report it appears that a shotgun was used to gain entry. The radio transmission equipment was not damaged.
"The State's existing radio towers and facilities were built to security standards that are less stringent than what is now required," said Shawn Romanoski, Director of Radio Services for the State. "We are bringing them up to date" he said. "Maine's radio towers are usually on remote mountaintops, and our legacy facilities are subjected to periodic vandalism."
The MSCommNet (Maine State Communications Network) project is working to improve the security of the entire radio network according to Romanoski. MSCommNet falls under the Office of Information Technology's Radio Services which is part of Network and Communication Services.
Romanoski said, "When the new system is complete in the fall of 2012, the equipment shelters and security fencing will be more resistive to vandalism. The new buildings will feature steel-framed vandal-resistant doors, fencing with top strands of barbed wire, and door alarms that will instantly notify Radio Services of intrusions via a real-time network monitoring system. Some sites are under consideration for installation of monitored security cameras."
The State's Radio Services division maintains radio facilities and infrastructure for all State agencies. "Departmental radio systems were consolidated by OIT in 2005 in part because radio and computer technologies are merging," said Romanoski. "The national trend is for state Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to assume responsibility for managing law enforcement, public safety, and public service radio networks."
About the MSCommNet Project. The State of Maine is four years into a process to develop and commission a unified state land mobile radio network for state law enforcement, public safety, and public service agencies. The MSCommNet system is being designed to accommodate continued interoperability with other public partners.
The new system will utilize significant portions of the State's existing communications infrastructure with a modern technical foundation that addresses current and future technical needs, regulatory compliance, and business requirements. System security will be substantially improved.
MSCommNet is online at http://www.maine.gov/mscommnet
Contact Tom Driscoll at: email@example.com