Press-Republican

Local News

March 3, 2013

Essex, Clinton counties to get millions in state grants

(Continued)

Their radio network is used for fire and EMS communications, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, County Highway, County Health Department, Plattsburgh International Airport and many local municipalities, Day said by email.

“In addition to improved capacity, the new microwave system is planned to have connectivity with the proposed Essex County system and future connections to Franklin County and other counties within the Adirondack Interoperable Communications Consortium: Franklin, Clinton, Essex, Warren, Washington, Hamilton, Fulton, Montgomery and Saratoga counties.”

Day said that will help to improve communications during large-scale events or disasters. Day said that once Mascarenas did the preliminary work they refined the application to their specific needs.

“Then each county had plenty of work, and I mean plenty, working to tailor the specific needs for our grant requests, and working with vendors and putting together labor, material, engineering and training quotes, drafting county specific scopes of work, providing county specific existing interoperability agreements and so on.”

REBAND REQUIRED

“This grant … has helped to upgrade and extend the life of the nearly 20-year-old communications system we have in Clinton County,” Day said. “The Office of Emergency Services and all of the 800 MHz radio system-user groups are currently undergoing a more than $2 million upgrade of equipment that has been driven by a radio frequency spectrum action conducted years ago by the FCC, in which Sprint-Nextel was awarded frequencies that the system currently uses.”

He said that in exchange for the frequencies for their cellular and data networks, Sprint-Nextel is required by federal mandate to reband, which means frequency conversion for existing users on the Clinton County system at no cost to the user.

“The rebanding process has driven the replacement of nearly all of the mountaintop radio transmitters, as well as nearly two-thirds of the more than 1,100 mobile and portable radios used on the system daily.”

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