HARRISBURG – Faster Internet connections, clearer cell phone reception and improved public safety are just a few ways in which taxpayers will benefit from a new program to allow private companies, local governments and others to install equipment on the state’s public safety radio network (PA-STARNet) towers, the Office of Administration said today.
“The public safety radio network consists of hundreds of towers located in every county, including areas with small populations,” said Secretary of Administration Kelly Powell Logan. “Providing access to these towers will significantly reduce the upfront investments in infrastructure that are necessary to extend services to these communities.”
Funds generated by the leases will defray taxpayer costs to maintain the network, which provides public safety and emergency response dispatch, as well as wireless voice and data communications, to State Police, PennDOT, PEMA and more than 20 other state and local government agencies, regional task forces and business partners.
To apply to lease tower space, complete the online form found at www.radio.state.pa.us by selecting the link for Broadband and Site Services Requests.
Later this year, the office plans to launch a middle mile broadband program in 32 counties in northern Pennsylvania. The commonwealth received a $28.8 million grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to add broadband capacity to the network. Internet service providers, as well as anchor institutions such as schools, colleges, hospitals, libraries and public safety agencies will be able to purchase the excess capacity at competitive prices to serve the commonwealth’s citizens.