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AWARDS & RECOGNITION

2010 Awards: Information Communications Technology (ICT) Innovations


RECIPIENT:
Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania StarNET

In the mid-1990s, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania faced the prospect of replacing an aging analog radio system used by the Pennsylvania State Police for statewide dispatch and patrol. Other agencies also used a variety of separately purchased, deployed, operated, and maintained analog radio systems, using different technologies with limited ability to interconnect.

After much study, the commonwealth made the following key decisions:

  • Rather than replace existing systems one-by-one and allow them to remain under agency control, the commonwealth would deploy a single system with transmitters and receivers statewide, connected and managed centrally through a microwave network.
  • The new system would support both voice and data communications, freely intermingled, using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology.
  • VoIP is the digital transmission of voice communications through a data network based on Internet Protocol (IP).
  • VoIP and IP routing technologies allow voice and data communications to share networks and thus increase spectral efficiency and reliability.
  • VoIP technologies encode and route digitized voice and data traffic over the commonwealth’s IP networks – both wireless and private wide area networks.
  • The design, development, operation and support of the new system would be the responsibility of a single office dedicated to that purpose, charged with delivering wireless voice and data services to benefit all commonwealth agencies.

The commonwealth selected an innovative, leading-edge digital technology. It was enormously promising in range and flexibility of services, features, and functions—but untested and unproven. In September 2003, the Pennsylvania statewide radio system, PA-STARNet, became operational. In reality, the commonwealth and the vendor developed the next generation of public safety communications software that is now the OpenSky network.

The state has moved PA-STARNet ahead significantly with initiatives aimed at enhancing interoperable communications, including system coordination, engineering coordination and connecting all 911 centers to the PA-STARNet.

“Pennsylvania’s Statewide Radio Network is a leap forward in public safety and emergency response. The network has proven itself time and again during major events such as the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh in 2009 and large-scale emergencies such as the major snowstorms that hit the East Coast in February.”
Brenda Orth, Chief Information Officer, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

FINALISTS:
Click on the title to download program submission.

Colorado
Ahead of Its Time: The Colorado Statewide Digital Trunked Radio System

New York
511NY

Virginia
Virginia Interoperability Picture for Emergency Response (VIPER)


OTHER NOMINATIONS:
Click on the title to download program submission.

California
CalConnect

Massachusetts
MassDOT Developers Initiative

Michigan
Michigan’s New Economy Partnerships: Leveraging ICT Innovation for Economic Growth & Diversification

Oklahoma
Step UP Performance Management System

Utah
Utah's Social Media Portal Project: connect.utah.gov

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