Ontario government upgrading the Public Safety Radio Network

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The Ontario government has committed to upgrading the Public Safety Radio Network, which emergency responders rely on to keep the community safe.

The province has made an agreement with Bell Mobility for $765 million which will be used for reconstructing core infrastructure, replacing outdated equipment and maintaining the new radio network.

"In a crisis, every second counts. Replacing our aging emergency radio network is not only vital to public safety, it's long overdue," Premier Doug Ford said in a news release.

"Working with our chosen vendors, we're confident this investment will give our first responders on the frontlines access to a reliable, cutting-edge network, so they can do their jobs and keep our families and communities safe," he continued.

Bell Mobility will be responsible for building the Land Mobile Radio Network—the network's core infrastructure—as well as support antennas, servers, and data centre equipment.

They will also provide first responders and their dispatchers with state-of-the-art radio equipment, which will allow them to respond to an emergency immediately.

Additionally, they will be providing network and radio equipment maintenance services for the next 15 years, starting in 2023 when the network is projected to be fully operational.

"Bell looks forward to providing the Government of Ontario with the next generation of public safety communications technology," Gary Semplonius, senior vice president of Bell, said.

"Together, we will equip first responders and other frontline personnel with the advanced communications tools they need to perform their critical role in protecting the safety of Ontarians," he continued.

This new network will affect the more than 38,000 frontline and emergency responders in Ontario, including: OPP officers, paramedics and hospital staff, forest fire services, provincial highway maintenance staff, as well as parks, enforcement, and correctional officers.

"Ontario's frontline and first responders rely on one of North America's largest and most complex public safety radio networks to protect people in the face of emergencies," Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said.

"By rehabilitating and advancing the province's radio network, we can improve connectivity and prevent daily service outages that obstruct frontline and emergency responders and put public safety at risk," she continued.

Cover photo courtesy of Sylvia Jones’ Twitter

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