NSW Government is set to invest about $63 million into enhancing the critical communications infrastructure for emergency, law enforcement and essential services agencies.
The investment will be used towards designing a single, state-wide radio network to integrate and enhance more than 70 separate government agency networks.
The shared-network design aims to deliver improved coverage for key agencies, almost tripling hand-held radio coverage for the State Emergency Service, while eliminating the inefficiency resulting from many government agencies owning, operating and maintaining separate, overlapping networks.
A pilot project in north western NSW will be taking place and will see the integration of ten existing agency networks in the area, delivering a 3314sq KM increase in coverage for the local rural fire service, state emergency service and fire and rescue units.
The NSW Telco Authority will lead the network design in collaboration with government agencies to ensure agency requirements are met, as well as private sector providers.
The government will seek approval for the implementation design in 2017.