Butler County, PA’s radio system was facing end-of-life and had begun to experience reduced reliability. As a county the requires reliable mission-critical communications for 60 first responder agencies, it is crucial that the County’s land mobile radio (LMR) system, and the network supporting it, be available whenever and wherever it needs to be. In addition to decreased reliability the system also faced several other challenges that led the County to make the decision to replace it, including:
- Increased maintenance costs
- Operation on the T-Band, radio spectrum the County would be forced to vacate before the FCC’s 2023 deadline
- Frequent network connectivity backhaul issues resulting from reliance on outdated, costly analog telephone lines
- Extended outages, coverage issues and loss of communication capabilities that threatened the County’s ability to provide mission-critical response
- Inability to support multiple large-scale incidents and provide law enforcement with encryption to protect sensitive communications
HOW MCP HELPED
Working alongside a team of LMR experts from MCP, Butler County developed a roadmap to replacing their existing system with one that would meet their needs today and well into the future. As part of the multi-year replacement effort, MCP completed a detailed assessment of the available replacement options, including pros and cons for each solution and comprehensive price estimates to aid the County in their planning efforts. Of the options available, it was determined that the best fit for the County was an 800 MHz Phase 2 trunked simulcast radio solution.
Upon selecting a new system, Butler County retained MCP’s support to assist with the procurement and implementation processes. The team worked to develop requirements and specifications and the County kicked off a competitive procurement process. The ultimate end-goal was finding a cost-effective solution that would help the County overcome today’s challenges, limit the need for future upgrades, increase interoperability and leverage the resources of neighboring counties.
The County selected a P25 system from Motorola and separate vendors for supporting network backhaul and site development. With MCP’s support during vendor negotiations, the selected solution included an impressive 43 percent cost savings off list price, with additional savings to be achieved through sharing systems with regional partners. Throughout the project, MCP’s support gave the County greater confidence that the selected solution would meet their needs while also playing a key role in helping them obtain the most aggressive pricing possible.
“MCP has played a key role in helping us meet our project goals by managing multiple vendors on our behalf – holding them accountable for meeting project milestones, managing project risks and ensuring they meet schedule deadlines and requirements,” said Steve Bicehouse, director.
The radio communications system in Butler County is expected to go live in early 2019. To learn more about this project, download the client success story here.