Florida to build wireless system

The plan is to have all counties' public safety and first responder personnel connected to the statewide wireless communications system by the end of 2005.

Florida State Technology Office

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush today announced plans for a statewide wireless communications system.

The plan is to have the system ready to use as part of public safety and homeland security measures in Jacksonville for Super Bowl XXXIX in February, Bush said. All of the state's counties are expected to be connected to the system by the end of 2005.

The new contract through the State Technology Office will allow local law enforcement and first responders to communicate with any other jurisdiction using their existing radio systems and frequencies. Florida is the first state to use the Motobridge IP solution on a statewide level, according to Motorola.

"Through the network, dispatch centers will have unprecedented capabilities to communicate with each other to coordinate response and radio users will be able to talk directly to all other users," said Simone Marstiller, Florida's chief information officer, at the announcement in Jacksonville.

Some switch systems are going into place nationwide as short-term radio interoperability solutions, because jurisdictions are using proprietary systems and cannot communicate across systems. Motobridge is an Internet protocol gateway switch, which means that it is able to include more management of frequencies and identification features, according to Motorola.

The Motobridge equipment will go to more than 200 local dispatch centers in Florida's 67 counties. Because it is a state contract, it will be able to use the state's intranet and other statewide resources, Florida officials said.