Rural police stations in the Western Australian Police Service will have access to new messaging services and applications under a new project to provide satellite data services to remote areas.
In the project to connect country stations to the Police Service's upgraded WAN, satellite units are being installed at 88 rural and remote police stations.
West Australia Police selected Cable & Wireless Optus and AlphaWest for the $3.5 million contract.
Superintendent Glenn Crannage, director of major projects said the four year contract is part of the Police Service's Delta Communications and Information Technology (DCAT) project, a five year project to improve information systems within the Police Service.
According to Crannage, the Police Service has completed the first year of the $124 million project comprising a number of significant IT projects.
Crannage said CWO and AlphaWest, in a consortium known as Westwide, are providing high speed, high bandwidth satellite data services across the organisation's upgraded WAN.
The satellite network is replacing existing SNA and dedicated links with a 512K link increasing bandwidth capabilities at the rural stations, Crannage said.
The new network, using CWO's B3 satellite, will provide rural police stations with email services and access to applications, including online image files and internal management systems, previously not accessible in remote areas, Crannage said.
In addition to providing the satellite services, AlphaWest is also managing data services and monitoring traffic along the network, he said.
According to Crannage, some police stations are already connected to the satellite network, which will be rolled out to all stations by early next year.
Westwide was selected for the project from the West Australia government's State Telecommunications Enhancement Program (STEP), a panel of providers comprising Telstra and Westwide, Crannage said.