British Coast Guard Purchases New Radio Network
Monday, August 03, 2020 | Comments

The British Maritime and Coastguard Agency is investing more than £170 million in a new radio network that will enable Her Majesty’s Coastguard to continue to save lives for years to come. The new network will be built and maintained by telent Technology Services and is a significant investment in telecommunications infrastructure in rural areas.

The existing network will be replaced with a modern and resilient fiber-based hybrid network that will provide increased reliability, bandwidth and security.

The new network will ensure the coast guard can continue to:
• Communicate with ships in UK waters to advise on navigation hazards or receive distress alerts,
• Track shipping through ships’ automatic identification systems, which presents a very significant national security risk,
• Launch and direct the hundreds of charitably funded lifeboats that save lives; and
• Communicate with HM Coastguard helicopters, fixed wing planes and emergency tugs that save lives and protect the marine environment.

“This is a vitally important investment in coast guard infrastructure through the construction of a new national radio network, without which Her Majesty’s Coastguard simply could not fulfill its role in protecting life on the coast and in our waters into the future,” said Damien Oliver, commercial and programs director and the senior responsible officer for the project. “This new network will replace the increasingly difficult-to-maintain analog system in place today. It will also provide fiber connectivity to the very rural areas in which the majority of our 155 remote radio sites are located.”

The program will replace old existing copper telephone wiring with modern fiber-based technology to each of the HM Coastguard’s 155 remote radio sites, as well as adding new connection points to increase resilience and diversity which will in turn improve reliability.

A future benefit of the program will see remote towns and villages in the proximity of the network being able to utilize the new fiber infrastructure to access improved technology services from a broad base of suppliers.

As network provision is not part of the Maritime Coastguard Agency’s core capability, a market-leading specialist organization will be used to install and run the new network under a managed services support contract. Following a rigorous and competitive tendering process telent was awarded the contract to design, implement and support the new fiber-based hybrid network.

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