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About the CCEP

The CCEP is delivering an enhanced, Government Radio Network (GRN) to improve emergency and day-to-day operational communications for a wide range of NSW Government agencies, including public safety, law enforcement and essential services.

One of the first initiatives to be delivered under the NSW Government’s Operational Communications Strategy, the CCEP will consolidate the large number of separate radio assets  that are owned and operated by the NSW Government agencies to enhance the Telco Authority's existing GRN.

The CCEP will increase the level of shared coverage available to NSW Government agencies and essential services from less than 35 per cent at present to over 80 per cent of the state. Coverage in urban areas will also improve from 96 per cent to close to 100 per cent. Emergency and day-to-day operational communications will also benefit from network capacity, availability and resilience designed to meet public safety standards.

Importantly, the enhanced GRN will support network users to more easily share information (interoperability) and coordinate responses to critical incidents leading to better outcomes for frontline personnel and the NSW community.

The shared vision for the future of operational communications in NSW is where seamless, robust communication is available to NSW Government agencies and essential services. Moving from many independent agency networks to one single, shared platform for operational communications, as will be delivered by the CCEP, is key to achieving this outcome. It also paves the way for the adoption of new technologies such as public safety mobile broadband.

Why radio communications?

The technology relied upon for operational communications is in a state of rapid change. While Government agencies are moving to higher bandwidth applications, these technologies are still in the early phases of development for use in mission critical scenarios.

Radio, on the other hand, is a mature and reliable technology which is why it remains essential to the effective delivery of operations and services by NSW Government agencies. The highest priority of these radio networks is to support law enforcement and public safety agencies in circumstances where life, health and property are in danger.

These radio networks achieve what is called ‘mission critical standards’ of communications and are configured to achieve 99.95 per cent availability. This availability is critical to ensuring frontline personnel are able to communicate, as needed during emergencies and for day to day operational activities.

In addition to law enforcement and emergency services, other users of radio communications include local government and essential service providers in transport, energy, the environment and water supply. These providers use mobile radio networks for business critical standards of communications in their day-to-day operations and in times of specific incidents or emergencies.

The CCEP will enhance the existing GRN and deliver a multi-agency shared network with the coverage and capacity to support both mission critical and day-to-day operational communications for NSW Government agencies and essential services.

Why is the reform needed?

Significant duplication in radio infrastructure, coverage and costs with limited shared benefits

Over the past 20 years, NSW Government agencies and essential services have typically designed, built, operated and maintained separate radio networks. As a result, law enforcement and public safety agencies such as NSW Police Force, Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW State Emergency Service and NSW Ambulance, along with a large number of other agencies operate their own, dedicated radio networks.

The existence of both the GRN and numerous agency radio networks has resulted in substantial duplication of radio infrastructure, coverage and costs with benefits realised on an agency to agency basis.

What will the CCEP deliver?

An enhanced GRN that uses the best existing agency radio sites and, where required, builds new sites to extend shared network coverage across the state. Once NSW Government agencies have transitioned to the enhanced GRN, surplus radio assets and sites not required for other operational purposes will be decommissioned.

A shared network will streamline administration, operation and maintenance costs to provide the community with the services they need at a lower cost.

Limited ability for public safety agencies to share critical information (interoperability)

The closed nature of most agency networks currently limits the ability of agencies to share critical information during large scale public events and large scale incidents (e.g. floods and fires).

What will the CCEP deliver?

A shared network for NSW that will support frontline law enforcement, public safety and essential services personnel to communicate across agencies improving service levels and response outcomes for the community. Importantly, a shared network will allow for progressive connectivity to networks in other jurisdictions improving national interoperability. It will also align NSW with other states and territories who have, or are in the process of investing in, a shared multi-agency radio network for mission critical communications.

Substantial investment required to replace existing ageing radio networks

It is estimated over the next three years (to 2020) 65 per cent of the existing NSW Government radio communication assets will reach, or be nearing, end of life. It will cost the state more to replace these networks than to deliver an improved, resilient shared network. Reinvesting in separate agency networks will also continue the duplication of capital and operational costs.

What will the CCEP deliver?

An opportunity to minimise duplication, drive efficiencies, improve interoperability and provide a more resilient and responsive shared network that can be used by all NSW Government agencies and essential services.

Limited opportunity for the adoption of future technologies

Currently there is no common infrastructure platform or shared pathway to support the adoption of new communication technologies such as mission critical public safety mobile broadband (i.e. data services).

What will the CCEP deliver?

A streamlined, shared platform designed and built to meet equivalent safety and usability benchmarks across NSW and capable of adopting the next generation of communication technologies. This will enhance opportunities for frontline personnel to access critical information in the field through the wide range of technology and applications that are compatible with mobile broadband in the future.