Alaska emergency radio network goes live

The new Alaska Land Mobile Radio System is now operational for 8,000 first responders, and is in the process of adding state troopers and additional police and emergency responders to the system.

The interoperable statewide radio system is sponsored by the state, the Defense Department and other agencies and has been funded with about $71 million in federal funds and $18 million in state funds thus far, according to a news release from Maj. Gen. Craig E. Campbell, state commissioner of military and veterans affairs. The total cost is estimated at $120 million.

The system has taken nearly a decade to build as a cooperative project of federal, state and local agencies. It uses Internet-based standards and is compatible with the Project 25 suite of industry standards.

The project required special federal approvals to allow sharing of spectrum between federal and state agencies, which was approved in 2003.

Motorola Corp. was awarded a contract in 2004 for an initial procurement.

"The Alaska Land Mobile Radio system is demonstrating, on a daily basis, with its 8,000 current users, that is provides real-time, on-demand, secure communications. This is precisely the kind of communications necessary to respond to inter-agency, multi-jurisdictional events," Campbell said in the release.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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