Not even a global health pandemic could prevent the team at CREST from completing the Capital Region’s 4-year $24.5M technology upgrade that has moved the system and the region’s emergency responders and public service agencies onto a fully digital platform that meets world standards for public safety.

The phased-in upgrade included 30 new transmission towers, refurbishing older ones and programming and deploying 3,000 new radios for the 50 emergency-response agencies in the region. Migrating to a digital P25 radio system from an analogue-digital VHF system means clearer communications coverage over a greater area, and the new radios reduce background noise and environmental interference to improve critical public safety communications within buildings and when conditions are less than ideal.

CREST’s P25 network was phased in across the Capital Region ensuring uninterrupted service and allowing for vital testing and training time. The new digital CREST network is meeting and exceeding expectations of CREST user agencies when they need it most – during the pandemic. The seamless cut-over and optimal performance of the new network means that the region’s first responders and public service agencies have better tools and improved connectivity as they face escalating workplace demands.

CREST completed the final phase of the network upgrade in late 2020 migrating all user agencies in the Capital Region to a new, digital P25 platform with broadcast frequency of 700 MHz in urban areas and using VHF in the rural areas. The new P25 network completed on budget, and phased regional transitions onto the new network over the four-year period were seamless.

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