Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Narrowband upgrades now complete

Johnson County 911 coordinator sent a text Friday evening announcing, “Narrowbanding is complete, normal radio operation has resumed. All Johnson Co frequencies are now narrowband.”

And with that text more than a year of planning came to fruition as the municipal, police and emergency radios of Johnson County completed an upgrade to the narrowband 12.5 kHz channels to comply with recently mandated Federal Communications Commission requirements.

Johnson County 911 coordinator Jim Cuff and Johnson County Emergency Service Disaster Agency coordinator Jim Haney issued a press release Monday indicating the upgrade was complete and thanking the crews involved.

“Novacom Inc. worked extensively to keep the project as close to schedule as possible; the long hours and cooperation by all those involved with this change is greatly appreciated,” the release announced.

Novacom, out of Herrin, worked with Johnson County in its planning stages for the past year and its personnel were on site Thursday and Friday to help install and program on the new and old radios.  Johnson County was one of nine Southern Illinois counties to receive grant money to help in its purchase of new radios.  Before all was said and done, nearly 230 pieces of equipment throughout the approximately 13 departments and agencies in the county required servicing.

“The new equipment and the narrowband will allow for more of the much needed frequencies emergency personnel require,” said Novacom employee Anthony Amato, who was in Goreville Thursday morning replacing radios in the fire trucks and working with Jim Cuff. Amato said the new radios would allow for 128 channels verses the eight channels the old radios were capable of. “The new frequencies have other abilities such as encryption and better signal strength,” added Amato.

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