Community Service

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Community Service

FCC RE-BANDING EFFORT SUPPORTS EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND SECURITY

In July 2004, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a comprehensive plan to reconfigure the 800 MHz band used by police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians due to increasing pressure from high-density commercial wireless systems for more spectrum. The Santa Barbara region implemented these changes in 2014.

Over 600 UCSB portable and mobile radios from Public Safety, Facilities Management, Housing & Residential Services, and other campus departments were collected, inventoried, and reprogrammed to the new 800 MHz frequencies by ETS staff over a two-month period. The Campus Police radios were previously configured to support both 800MHz and ultra high frequency (UHF). This upgrade allowed the Campus Police to carry one radio that operates on both the UC and Santa Barbara Sheriff's frequencies. During the re-banding transition, both radio frequencies had to run concurrently and campus radios had to be able to transmit on both frequencies. Significant planning and coordination were necessary to ensure minimal disruption to public safety services, both on the UCSB campus and in Isla Vista. UCSB was the first southern UC campus to complete this effort. Upon completion, the lessons learned and configurations for concurrent frequencies were passed on to other southern UC campuses.

 

NEXT GENERATION 911 PROVIDES IMPROVED EMERGENCY RESPONSE TOOL

When someone on or near the campus needs emergency assistance, the campus communications infrastructure ensures that they are routed to the appropriate 911 dispatch center based on their location. This is especially important considering that within a mile of the UCSB campus there is a coastline, a major freeway, an airport, and thousands of students. ETS worked with the Campus Police to install a new, state-mandated 911 system that improves call processing, mapping, and analytics. In the future, the system will have the capability of receiving text messages and supporting multiple languages. In addition to providing space, power, and a climate controlled environment for the equipment, ETS staff coordinated project vendors and ensured that the new system was integrated with the campus communications infrastructure.