45,000 km digital radio network to aid WA emergency services

Network covers 45,000 kilometres in Perth, Pilbara, Goldfields-Espernace and south-west WA

Western Australia Police with their new Motorola ASTRO P25 digital radios. Photo credit: WA Police.

Western Australia Police with their new Motorola ASTRO P25 digital radios. Photo credit: WA Police.

The Western Australia Police (WA Police), Department of Corrective Services (DCS) and the Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) now have access to a digital radio network covering 45,000 kilometres in WA.

The network covers Perth and regional areas of the state including the Pilbara, Goldfields-Esperance, Mid-West and South-West regions. According to the WA Police, it covers almost 95 per cent of the population. The network features radio encryption so that WA Police, DCS and FESA can talk without risk of being overheard by criminals who own police scanners.

As part of the rollout, 3,000 Motorola ASTRO P25 radios will be provided to police, ambulance and fire service staff.

An Internet protocol (IP) network, based in Albany in WA, has been built to support the digital radio coverage in the state. The network is connected to the WA Police network operations centre in Perth via its IP network to allow technicians to monitor it 24/7.

WA Minister for Emergency Services Joe Francis said in a statement that the radio network would provide a “clearer and more secure” form of communication for emergency agencies.

The radio network has been provided by Motorola Solutions. In 2011, the WA state government awarded Motorola a five-year, $40 million contract to extend the digital radio emergency services network beyond Perth to the rest of WA.

The contract was funded under the state government’s Royalties for Regions program.

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