Telstra Enterprise set to build Tasmanian Government Radio Network

Contract negotiations begin on emergency network to replace five other networks.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Tasmania's Mount Horror

Image: TasGRN

Telstra Enterprise and the Tasmanian government have entered negotiations on the contract to build the Tasmanian Government Radio Network (TasGRN), the island state said on Sunday.

TasGRN will consolidate five currently separated radio networks used on the island, with initial users of the completed network set to be: Tasmania Police; Tasmania Fire Service; Ambulance Tasmania; State Emergency Service; Sustainable Timber Tasmania; Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment; TasNetworks; and Hydro Tasmania.

The integrated radio network will handle "public safety mission-critical voice and narrowband data", be P25-compliant, and be delivered to government as a managed service.

"Recent events both here, and in other Australian jurisdictions, have shown us how important it is to have fast and secure communications to respond to bushfires, floods, natural disasters, and other emergencies," Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management Mark Shelton said.

"The TasGRN project is expected to create up to 50 jobs during the three-year construction phase, with additional positions to help run and oversee the network once the network is up and running."

For Telstra, it is set to be the largest project the company has carried out on the island state.

In July, National Narrowband Network Co struck a deal with TasNetworks, Tasmania's energy distribution utility, to help roll out an enterprise-grade IoT network across the state.

"Any digital innovation that boosts safety, control, and efficiency is good for us, and good for Tasmanians," said TasNetworks CEO Lance Balcombe.

"TasNetworks is determined to help Tasmanians recover strongly from the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown. Smart technology that helps us boost efficiency, and helps customers save time and money, can be a crucial part of that mission."

Last week, Tasmania said it would not be opening its borders to other Australian states until at least the end of August, explaining that it has put on hold plans to reopen travel to South Australia, Northern Territory, and Western Australia, which was due to commence on August 7.

On its last released numbers to the end of July, Tasmania had a total of 227 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, with 13 fatalities.

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