Senate Committees to Hold Joint Hearing on Statewide Radio System

The Senate Communications & Technology Committee, the Law & Justice Committee and the Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee will hold a joint public hearing on Wednesday (June 7) to review issues related to the statewide radio system.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in Hearing Room 1 in the North Office Building of the State Capitol Complex. The hearing will be streamed live at:  www.pasenategop.com.

Originally created in 1996, the purpose of the statewide radio system, or StarNet, was to:

*Replace the state’s aging and incompatible systems with state-of-the art communications technology.

*Implement a statewide transport for mobile, hand-held, and fixed position radios that would support data applications in addition to voice communications.

*Provide mobile radio communication coverage of at least 95 percent by county, statewide.

*Create a framework for interoperable communication among state agencies, Regional Task Forces, and county 9-1-1 centers.

“Since its inception, StarNet has cost the Commonwealth well over $700 million with several re-boots,” said Senator Randy Vulakovich, Chairman of the Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee.  “The problem with the current land mobile radio component of StarNet is that it remains unreliable for state and local agencies.  Most recently, the Pennsylvania State Police have been piloting their new P25 initiative.  Having spent 27 years in law enforcement, I know how imperative it is for our first responders to communicate in emergencies – and that is why it is important that we get the Statewide Radio System right this time.”

“State government is littered with over-budget, under-performing technology projects,” said Sen. Aument, Chairman of the Communications & Technology Committee.  “The statewide radio project is just one glaring example of what is wrong with how our Commonwealth develops, procures and executes technology contracts and projects, and it must change.”

The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Communication & Information Services, as well as representatives from the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania are scheduled to testify at the hearing.

Contact:         Nate Silcox (717)        787-6538         nsilcox@pasen.gov

More information about state issues is available at Senator Vulakovich’s website, www.senatorvulakovich.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SenatorRandyVulakovich.