QLD boosts network links for hi-tech emergency centre

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QLD boosts network links for hi-tech emergency centre

Additional Telstra, Optus feeds to be deployed.

Queensland's Department of Community Safety (DCS) plans to launch a hi-tech emergency operations centre (QEOC) within the next year.

Designed to provide integrated communications during large scale emergencies and disasters, the $71 million centre will feature live audio-visual streaming, and enhanced dispatch and network capabilities.

Multiple redundant power, data and telephony paths and components will be installed to create a robust network with minimal disruptions to Triple Zero emergency calls.

The centre will also feature radio technology from Zetron and audio-visual components from Advanced Video Integration - both Queensland-based vendors - as well as a VisiCAD dispatch system.

A DCS spokesman told iTnews the department did not expect the bandwidth requirements of new live-streaming functions to be an issue for its existing wide area network (WAN).

The centre, in the northern Brisbane suburb of Kedron Park, would connect to the WAN via government wideband IP fibre links as well as Telstra and Optus lines, in case of any faults.

Visiting the centre last week, Queensland Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts said it would house 250 staff on completion and 350 during major incidents.

"This project heralds a new era in telecommunications support and has been designed to cater for changes and improvements in communications and future growth in years to come," he said.

The centre was partly provided for in the 2008-09 Queensland State Budget and is expected to launch by mid-2011.

It will house 10 to 12 IT staff who will support radios, telephones and computer-aided dispatch technology, as well as receiving 24x7 support from the department's existing information and communications systems (ICS) operations team.

The department may also commission second-level support from external contractors for "some technologies", the spokesman said.

The project is expected to sustain approximately 480 jobs over the construction and fit-out of the facility.

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