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Statewide Interoperability

The lack of interoperable wireless communications systems has plagued public safety organizations for decades. In many cases, public safety personnel do not have adequate radio spectrum (channels or frequencies) or hardware/equipment to perform mission-critical duties. Emergency responders are then unable to communicate or share critical voice and data information with other jurisdictions or disciplines during natural disasters, emergency response scenarios, terrorist acts, or even in day-to-day operations.

Governor Warner has recognized the pressing need to address interoperability in our communities by creating a new position in the Office of Public Safety — the Commonwealth Interoperability Coordinator.

What is Interoperability?

Interoperability is the ability for public safety personnel to talk with one another via radio communication systems – to exchange voice and/or data with one another on-demand, in real time – whenever necessary. It creates inter-communications that support effective incident management (tactical) and emergency management (strategic) activities; these in turn support continuity of operations and government functions during emergencies and catastrophic events.  [Please note:  Interoperability does not mean that everyone at an incident is able to talk with everyone else.]

Virginia is currently developing a Statewide Interoperability Strategic Plan to ensure that localities, state agencies, and federal agencies work together to improve interoperability. The development of this plan is only the first step. The involvement and leadership by localities is the driving force that will make this effort a success.


News & Updates

Local Interoperability Grant Opportunity

The Commonwealth Interoperability Coordinator's Office and State Interoperability Executive Committee are happy to announce $2 million in State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) Funds to support local interoperability projects. The grant funds may be used to support interoperability projects that include planning, evaluation, and/or equipment to improve communications interoperability in Virginia. Localities may apply for up to $75,000 in grant funds.

The application deadline for the Local Interoperability Grant is January 27, 2006. The application can be downloaded here by clicking.

800 MHz Rebanding

The mandatory 800 MHz Rebanding project has just recently gotten underway, with Virginia slated to convert bandwidths within the year.  Be sure to explore our new 800 MHz Rebanding pages for more information and insight into implementaiton plans.


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