WASHINGTON, DC -- The Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), working with the Department of Defense, signed a landmark agreement today to authorize the state of Wisconsin to use federal radio frequencies to test a shared land mobile trunking communications system that will greatly facilitate communication during emergencies as well as during day-to-day communications.
"The ability to communicate between levels
of government has been a tremendous challenge in the past, only overcome
on an ad hoc basis in the midst of an emergency," said Larry Irving, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information. "We applaud the
state of Wisconsin and the Department of Defense officials involved in
this important project, and look forward to sharing test results with communities
throughout the nation."
The state-of-the-art Pilot Trunked Radio
System will allow the state of Wisconsin to work with federal, state and
local officials to provide law enforcement protection and emergency management
services, while also allowing state and local officials to use the system
to provide local and routine services involving law enforcement, fire services,
emergency medical services, hazardous materials control, corrections administration,
forestry management, and highway safety services. There are a number of
land mobile systems currently operated by federal agencies or by state
and local governments around the country that provide communications during
emergency operations to all levels of government. The Wisconsin Pilot project
will, however, be the first system providing shared services on a day-to-day
"The project represents a new era of cooperation between federal, state, and local government agencies to achieve interoperation of radio systems at all levels of government," said Irving.
The principal Federal sponsor in the Wisconsin
Pilot system, the Department of the Army, is working with the Wisconsin
Department of Transportation to provide resources to develop the system.
The pilot system will serve federal, state and local public safety and
public service agencies in an area around Madison, Wisconsin and eventually
throughout the state. A Memorandum of Agreement was signed by Mr. William
Singletary, Administrator, Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Ms.
Cynthia Raiford, Deputy Director, Office of the Assistant Secretary of
Defense, C3I, on March 5, 1998.
The project will operate on frequencies in the 138-150.8 MHz range, currently assigned to the U.S. Department of the Army. It will use narrowband technology and will be capable of providing radio communications services in a digital mode. The agreement expires on July 1, 2001.
The Commerce Department's NTIA serves as
the principal adviser to the President, Vice President and Secretary of
Commerce on domestic and international communications and information issues
and represents the executive branch before the Congress, other federal
agencies, foreign governments and international organizations. Through
its Office of Spectrum Management, NTIA manages the federal government's
use of the radio spectrum. For more information, visit NTIA's homepage