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Rock County, WI, uses Exalt’s microwave backhaul systems for emergency communications

Exalt's ExtendAir

Exalt Communications announced on June 19 that the Rock County (Wisconsin) Communications Center is using Exalt microwave backhaul systems to unify emergency communications services across the county's 720 square miles and enable the center to quickly migrate its backhaul network to all-digital technology, while dramatically reducing equipment costs.

The center supports 26 police, fire, and EMS agencies and is the only CALEA-accredited [Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies] center in the state of Wisconsin. The Exalt backhaul network supports voice, mobile data, Wi-Fi hotspot services, and the center's new P25 land mobile radio (LMR) system from Raytheon.

The network is built on Exalt ExtendAir all-outdoor microwave systems using the 4.9 GHz and 18 GHz frequency bands, and supports most sites at 100 Mbps. Exalt partner General Communications installed the network, helping the center meet the rigorous uptime and resiliency requirements to maintain its longstanding CALEA accreditation.

"Exalt's engineering recommendations have always been right, so we decided to use Exalt systems to replace our old T1 lines to save money, provide more stable connectivity, and do more with increased bandwidth," said David Sleeter, director of the Rock County Communications Center. "We expect five 9s of uptime, and we've gotten it. Right now we're working to migrate all our backhaul traffic to IP with the same uptime and reliability we've grown to expect from Exalt. That work is planned for this summer, and in the future, we see it supporting new services like in-car video for our police force."

"Government regulations are pushing public safety agencies to unify their communications infrastructures with an eye toward system interoperability, but this creates new challenges for reliability, redundancy, and cost," said Mark Davis, Exalt’s senior director of product marketing. "For agencies like the Rock County Communications Center, one infrastructure has to serve it all. If the backhaul network goes down, they can't rely on switching over to separate fire or police systems. We built Exalt systems to meet this challenge and deliver the stringent performance, security, and network availability requirements of public safety agencies while decreasing their backhaul network costs."


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