Utah plans wireless data network
- By Brian Robinson
- Jan 21, 2002
Utah officials plan to use current installations throughout the state to
build a single wireless data network that will serve state and federal government
agencies as well as other Utah public entities, including county and city
governments, public schools and higher education facilities.
"We are trying to develop the network so that all of these entities
will be able to swap data over wireless devices," said Floyd Ritter, strategic
planner for wireless communications in Utah's Division of Information Technology
Services. "They can do that now over a government [mainly landline network],
but someone like a police officer needs the ability to check out a person
even before he gets out of his car."
The state-sponsored network also will help extend wireless capabilities
to remote areas of the state that commercial carriers won't service, he
The source of the network's funding will determine when construction
on it begins. Nothing has been presented to the legislature so far, Ritter
said, adding that his office will wait until the probable costs can be better
determined before examining funding options. Replies to a request for proposals
were due today.
Ritter said one possible source could be federal grants, particularly
through the federal Office of Homeland Security. The federal government
already has expressed interest in the notion of the Utah network, he said,
especially because of its low-cost premise.
The network could also be used to provide wireless voice service, though
only on request.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be
reached at email@example.com.
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.