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​NSW government's radio network to get AU$2.8m upgrade

New telecommunications equipment will be installed as part of the NSW government's radio network upgrade to improve communications between emergency services.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

The New South Wales government will invest AU$2.8 million to upgrade the NSW Telco Authority's emergency services government radio network (GRN).

As part of the upgrade, new telecommunications equipment will be installed to improve communications between the Ambulance Service of NSW, the Rural Fire Service, State Emergency Services, and NSW Fire and Rescue.

Minister for Finance and Services Dominic Perrottet said the upgrade will mean multiple carriers will be able to connect to the network sites together. Optus and Digital Distribution Australia (DDA) have signed up as the first carriers to provide services to the network.

Perrottet said partnering up with the private sector will ensure the updated system will be commercially viable and affordable.

"The authority's investment and their work with Optus and Digital Distribution Australia (DDA) will improve the network availability and deliver a more cost-effective way to access radio services," he said.

"It is pleasing to see more carriers willing to take up the challenge of providing the most critical services to the people of NSW and the increased market contestability that will drive down costs over time."

The NSW government announced last September that a telecommunications procuring scheme introduced by the Telco Authority had saved the government more than AU$3 million.

The procurement system for telecommunications equipment and infrastructure was introduced in May 2013 to help service more than 70 government agencies, including the state's emergency services, which own and operate radio to support their operations.

Additionally, the upgrade will see the implementation of a backup system that will allow the GRN to switch between carriers when they need to.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Stuart Ayres said the upgrade will mean better coverage and fewer disruptions on the network.

"This move is all about making the operational radio network more resilient while creating a platform to meet the growing and future needs of our emergency services," he said.

"These are the kinds of investments that will make a big difference to those on the front lines by ensuring they have the tools they need to do their jobs."

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