CREST Shareholders Approve $24.5M Investment

CREST Shareholders Approve $24.5M Investment

Victoria, BC – CREST shareholders supported making a $24.5 million investment in a five-year plan to upgrade CREST’s technology to open standard communications – also known as P25 – using 700 MHz spectrum. “This investment will further improve reliability and coverage for the 2,500 plus men and women who rely on their CREST radios,” said board chair Gordie Logan. “We’re building on the current system with new technology, at a reasonable cost.” The new funding will be used to install new transmitters/receivers, convert existing sites, purchase new radios and take the system to P25. “CREST needs to evolve with new technologies as they become available and reliable,” said general manager Gord Horth. “Working with police and fire user groups, we’ve developed a plan that does that. All 50 agencies that use the CREST system and their service providers will benefit through increased capacity, and better coverage and audio quality.” “I fully support these efforts to replace our region’s aging emergency communications system,” said Victoria Police Chief Frank Elsner. “We are very much looking forward to the implementation of the new 700 MHz system and its significant potential benefits for public safety.” “This will be the third major investment made since CREST was formed almost 15 years ago, in 2001, and it will carry us into the next decade.” said Logan. “P25 will make radio communications within and between agencies more effective, efficient and reliable.”

Quick Facts:

• CREST operates a wide-area emergency radio system that processes a call every four seconds on average.
• CREST users have immediate system access 99.8% of the time. For those that don’t get immediate access, the average call delay is 1.1 seconds. No system in the world has 100% reliability.
• Some 2,500 users put over 7.5 million calls through the CREST system last year.
• CREST’s infrastructure includes: 29 transmit and receive sites, 51 in-vehicle repeaters, 2,345 radios and 78 frequencies.
• The CREST system allows emergency service providers from different organizations to talk directly to one another in real-time, thereby improving emergency coordination and response, and public safety.
• Prior to creating CREST, public safety organizations in the Capital Region used over 30 different radio systems for communicating. Those systems were not designed or selected to communicate with one another, and in many cases critical communications links were not available – putting both emergency service providers and the public in jeopardy

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