P25 | 2020-11-09

Australian Public Safety Network boosted on the Far North Coast ahead of storm season

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) in Australia has begun migrating to the Public Safety Network (PSN) on the Far North Coast following its expansion by the NSW Telco Authority.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) has begun migrating to the Public Safety Network (PSN) on the Far North Coast following its expansion by the NSW Telco Authority. The PSN (also known as the Government Radio Network) is an integrated radio network for emergency services that is being expanded across the state through the Critical Communications Enhancement Program (CCEP). Through the roll out of the program, including the construction of new telecommunications sites, in-vehicle radio coverage from Byron Bay to Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah is now at 91 per cent, where previously no PSN coverage existed. Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the Telco Authority has delivered PSN coverage on the state’s Far North Coast for the first time.

“This is great news and will ensure frontline responders have an enhanced and more reliable network to help keep communities safe,” Mr Dominello said.

“Prior to the PSN, NSW SES relied upon its own separate network which provided approximately 69 per cent radio coverage. “The PSN has enhanced the network with new features and functionality, such as improved voice clarity and interoperability, which enables emergency services to communicate on a single network, rather than on multiple separate networks.” Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the expansion of the network was vital for agencies, such as the NSW SES, to respond to an emergency. “As we enter the storm season, the expanded network will give NSW SES and all ESOs the best available radio network when working on the frontline on the North Coast,” Mr Elliott said. “The network’s northern NSW roll-out extends from Dungog in the Hunter to the Queensland border and will allow ESOs to migrate from ageing, analogue networks to the PSN.”

NSW SES Commissioner Carlene York welcomed the news that NSW SES units are now being migrated onto the network. “Emergencies can happen at any time and our frontline responders need every support possible as they work to protect communities. The expansion of the network required extensive input, training and development and is a tremendous boost in helping NSW SES volunteers to save lives and protect communities,” Commissioner York said. The migration of NSW SES to the PSN in the Byron-Tweed area follows a $217 million funding boost to the program announced by the NSW Government in March 2020.

The NSW Government is investing more than $600 million in communications infrastructure to expand the footprint of the PSN across NSW. This represents the biggest investment in the network in two decades.

Picture: Courtesy of Falco Ermert under creative commons