Morris County, New Jersey is spending $26 million to upgrade its emergency communications system and radio network, including 4,700 new radios for emergency personnel. According to the The Patch, Mendham-Chester edition, the wide, sweeping plans also include revamping 13 existing sites, and adding one new cell tower to sew up coverage gaps. Motorola has been contracted to oversee the project.
“This is the radio system used each and every day by Morris County first responders and most municipalities within the county,” said Freeholder Douglas Cabana, the board’s Law and Public Safety liaison. “The upgrade that will be implemented over the coming year not only brings us in line with federal requirements, but also will improve the communications capabilities among everyone relying on the network and eliminate coverage gaps that previously existed in some parts of the county.”
In addition to blanketing the region to eliminate coverage gaps, the new system will also solve an interference problem, according to The Patch. A transmission on an overlapping frequency from a Virginia television station sometimes overwhelms the current T-Band wireless communication system. While it occurs infrequently, when it happens, it can knock first responders off their spectrum.
Morris County has been working to make improvements over the years, a focus that began in 2001 when 9/11 highlighted the importance of a superior communications system for emergency personnel. Opening up the T-Band spectrum and upgrading equipment will make communication across different jurisdictions much easier for first responders, reports The Patch.
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 called on the FCC to make the T-Band spectrum available, giving law enforcement and emergency personnel a channel uncluttered by public use. Morris County, New Jersey, is in the New York City metropolitan area, one of the United States’ most densely populated areas. The new upgrades will be introduced gradually, so that there will be no disruption of services available to the region’s residents, according to the account.