The Kewaunee County Sheriff's Department is moving forward with a major infrastructure phase of its radio systems upgrade.
Sherriff Matt Joski says the radio system for the department along with the fire paging system and two way radio system is getting upgraded. The upgrades are being made to meet a nationwide narrow banding mandate.
On Tuesday October 16, the county board approved a civil construction bid by Madison based contractors Joe Daniels for construction of the towers that will house the new radio equipment. Joski says there were about five bids, and many seemed like good candidates so picking a winner came down to dollars and cents.
Joski says the project started about three years ago, and the Sheriff's Department is now working towards putting its plan into motion.
The FCC has mandated that all conversions of this type should be done by the end of 2012, but with the number of agencies trying to get their projects done by the deadline; Kewaunee has filed an extension request just to be safe.
When the new system is complete, Joski says it will come with several added benefits. Moving from analog to digital allows for more capacity. Frequencies can be separated into talk groups, so where previously three frequencies meant three frequencies, now three frequencies can mean as many as eighteen different talk groups.
Joski also says the digital signal will make for a much clearer sound coming through the system with features like background noise suppression. He adds that making the leap from an analog to a digital system will allow the county to more easily transition into future upgrades as technology advances.