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GOVERNMENT

T

he New South Wales Government Radio Network is one of the largest in the world, and it’s still only partially complete as the responsible agency, the NSW Telco Authority, works to consolidate decades’ worth of development of individual networks into one, sustainable whole. To get an update on the status of the GRN, and what to expect in the near future, we submitted a number of questions to the Telco Authority.

CC: What sort of progress is being made on rationalising the use of spectrum for government purposes in NSW? TA: When the ACMA reviewed the 400 MHz band and introduced dedicated spectrum for government use, it provided the Telco Authority with an opportunity to look at the way spectrum is used by NSW government agencies, and determine if any efficiencies could be gained. We have since implemented a number of strategies to rationalise the use of spectrum by government agencies. In effect, we have centralised spectrum management of NSW Government licences into the Telco Authority, ensuring that licences used by agencies are authorised and monitored. This has enabled efficient demand management of this scarce resource and ensures that spectrum is only used to support an identified and assessed need. We are finding real value in managing spectrum for government use in a centralised way and it will continue to be implemented across the government’s spectrum holdings.

12 Critical Comms - Nov/Dec 2015

CC: What input did the Telco Authority make to the Productivity Commission’s recent study? TA: The Telco Authority prepared a response to the Productivity Commission highlighting a number of issues that should be considered in its study. A copy of our submission can be viewed on the Productivity Commission’s website: www.pc.gov.au.

CC: Can you detail what headway you are making on tackling the ‘spectrum squeeze’ in the Sydney basin? TA: The centralisation of spectrum management is showing improvements in resource management, with efficiencies being delivered across government as we continue to work with all stakeholders to deliver further improvements. Efficiencies are being driven by a number of agencies migrating on to the Government Radio Network rather than refreshing their existing conventional networks over the last few years, as well as better planning and use of spectrum for other agencies.

CC: A couple of years ago there were 50,000 end users across the state, with 30,000 on the GRN. Have those numbers changed significantly? TA: The number of end-user devices on the GRN has increased slightly to just over 31,000 handsets. Over the last couple years the Telco Authority has been working with agencies to enhance the existing voice capabilities that we provide via the shared network. This work will continue to explore with stakeholders solutions to improve communication between agency staff and front-line GRN users.

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Critical Comms Nov/Dec 2015  

The communications industry magazine for the public safety, law enforcement, utilities, transport, mining, security and defence sectors thro...

Critical Comms Nov/Dec 2015  

The communications industry magazine for the public safety, law enforcement, utilities, transport, mining, security and defence sectors thro...