NSW Telco Authority Launches Ten-Year Future-proof Operational Communications Plan for the Emergency Services

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

NSW Telco Authority launched a ten-year plan to transform public safety communications to provide first responders with the connectivity they need to protect people and places.

NSW Telco Authority Managing Director Kylie De Courteney said the Operational Communications Strategy 2020 (OCS 2020) is a blueprint for delivering data-enabled services to improve on-the-ground coordination and decision-making during emergencies when every second counts.

“In consultations to develop the strategy, customers told us they need both mission-critical voice and broadband data services to meet future coordination and connectivity challenges,” Ms De Courteney said.

“Through the Government’s $600 million investment the Critical Communications Enhancement Program, we are building a single, interoperable Public Safety Network (PSN) to deliver statewide, mission-critical standard voice and narrowband data services.”

Ms De Courteney said mission-critical long-term evolution (LTE) technology will supplement the PSN and enable first responders to access new services such as messaging services, data analytics, location services and real-time reporting.

“The OCS 2020 provides a roadmap for a staged, statewide rollout of LTE technology in partnership with network users and industry to deliver customer-focused, innovative and value for money services,” said Ms De Courteney.

Ms De Courteney said access to mission-critical data has the potential to revolutionise the way those in the frontline respond, coordinate and collaborate in an emergency.“

“Last summer’s bushfires and the current COVID-19 pandemic have shown we need to prepare for ‘unprecedented’ events,” said Ms De Courteney.

“Through the OCS 2020, the NSW Government is doing just that. We are leveraging leadership, technology and collaboration to futureproof public safety communications to deliver connectivity solutions for emergency services.”

The OCS 2020 is available on the NSW Telco Authority website