Louisiana State Police to Build Statewide Wireless Network
11:47AM 11/16/06   [ back to top ]

Agreement Provides Louisiana With Access to the ERF Wireless Statewide Wireless Broadband Network for Law Enforcement Operations and Disaster Recovery.

ERF Wireless announced today that it has entered into an agreement with the Louisiana State Police to construct a statewide wireless broadband network. This network, to be known as Louisiana BankNet, will be owned and operated by ERF Wireless, with the tower infrastructure provided by the Louisiana State Police. Funding will be provided by participating financial institutions. The $5 million network will provide wireless broadband connectivity to the Louisiana State Police and to the regional banks that ERF Wireless currently serves and will serve in the future. The network will also support wireless broadband Internet services (WISP) to many underserved areas of Louisiana.

As part of the agreement, ERF Wireless will provide the Louisiana State Police with access to continuous, point-to-point wireless connectivity through the entire State Police tower network. ERF Wireless will also deploy its newly announced SatNet product to provide fault-tolerant communications at certain key nodes inside the network. In addition, during times of declared state emergencies, ERF Wireless will make available to Louisiana's first responders expanded bandwidth, VoIP communications, high-resolution video surveillance at the backbone towers and across regional banking networks, video conferencing, and free use of wireless hotspots across the network -- all to support disaster recovery efforts.

Col. Henry L. Whitehorn, Superintendent Deputy Secretary, Department of Public Safety & Corrections, Public Safety Services (Louisiana State Police), commented, "This Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with ERF Wireless is very good for the people of Louisiana as well as the Louisiana State Police. The past year has been a very trying time for all of us in Louisiana. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita had a significant impact on our communications capabilities throughout much of the state. When ERF Wireless suggested working together to upgrade our communications capability, to help our local financial institutions and to provide emergency WISP services free of charge to first responders and to our citizens, I knew this would be a win-win solution. We are looking forward to working with ERF Wireless to provide Louisiana with all of the benefits available through this state-of-the-art wireless network."

Dr. H. Dean Cubley, ERF Wireless' CEO, commented, "We're pleased to enter into this agreement with the state of Louisiana and to provide enhanced services to our financial institution customers. This is a perfect example of how private enterprise and government can work together to provide a critical service to citizens, government entities and local financial institutions. This secure network will be a benefit to all involved. The Louisiana State Police get an upgraded, fault-tolerant communications capability throughout the state. The financial institutions receive reliable, high-speed, encrypted communications across our BankNet circuits. And, many previously underserved areas of Louisiana can take advantage of the new ERF Wireless WISP services that will be available soon in cities, towns and rural communities all across the state.

"The construction of Louisiana BankNet will begin within the next thirty days," said John Burns, ERF Wireless COO and chief architect of the company's milestone agreement with Louisiana. "ERF Wireless has been involved in a sustained R&D effort over the last three years to develop the technology, file the patents, identify the needed applications, address regulatory concerns, finalize the design and deploy five operating networks across three states. The Louisiana portion of our planned nationwide BankNet system is the nucleus for our overall strategy for serving the U.S. banking industry."

The construction of Louisiana BankNet will proceed in phases, with the first phase beginning in Baton Rouge, then continuing east along the Interstate 10 corridor to New Orleans, then north around Lake Pontchatrain through Slidell and Hammond, and returning to Baton Rouge. The second phase will begin in Baton Rouge, then proceed west along the Interstate 10 corridor through Lafayette to Lake Charles. The third phase will begin in Lafayette, then advance east along the U. S. Highway 90 corridor through Morgan City and Houma to New Orleans. Later phases will cover all areas of the state in a similar manner. "We plan to complete as much of the network as possible before the next hurricane season hits by leveraging the resources of our strategic partners," said Burns.

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