Ontario Modernizing Communications Infrastructure in Adult Correctional and Youth Justice Facilities
TORONTO — As part of the Ontario government’s commitment to support the safety of frontline staff, the province is taking the next step in its plan to upgrade outdated radio infrastructure at the province’s 25 adult correctional institutions and five youth facilities. Williams Communication Services has been awarded the Facilities Radio Network contract for a 15-year term to replace and maintain all core, in-building radio infrastructure and user equipment that staff rely on to keep facilities safe.
“Reliable radio infrastructure is essential for keeping employees and those in our custody safe,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “This leading-edge technology will ensure that corrections and youth justice staff have access to a secure and reliable system that will meet current and future operational needs and ensure staff and inmates are protected.”
Work on the Facilities Radio Network is scheduled to begin this spring and will be implemented in facilities starting in late 2022. The network is expected to be fully operational across the province by the end of 2024. The radio network will be scalable to meet the needs of the facilities including planned facility expansion and new construction projects.
The Facilities Radio Network project supports the delivery of the Corrections and Youth Justice Radio Network – the key communications system in the province’s correctional and youth institutions. When complete, the network will provide a digital solution that is fully encrypted and scalable to provide secure communications for all users well into the future. Coverage will be enhanced throughout each facility, covering over 6,000,000 ft², and supporting over 8,000 corrections and youth justice employees.
“Ensuring that staff and frontline workers have modern tools to support their work in youth justice is vital to keeping everyone safe and connected,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “We want the staff in our youth facilities to be able to focus on supporting their clients and this innovative technology will remove the distraction and barriers caused by outdated equipment.”
“Williams Communication Services is thrilled to be selected as the preferred vendor to design, supply and maintain a facilities radio network for the Ministry of the Solicitor General and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services,” said Marshall Ouellette, Director of Sales Williams Communication Services. “As a 100 per cent Indigenous-owned business, this is a proud moment for our organization as it will allow us to partner and contribute to the efforts of the provincial government as well as further support corporate initiatives like our Scholarship Fund for Indigenous Students.”
Williams Communication Services was selected as the successful proponent following an open, multi-stage, competitive bid process. Williams Communications is a First Nations, privately-owned, full-service communications company founded in 1959 and located in Durham Region. They are an authorized dealer for industry leading manufacturers and service providers in Canada.
The Facilities Radio Network is a key component in Ontario’s Public Safety Radio Network project which provides the communications infrastructure, network and equipment frontline and emergency responders need when responding to emergencies or to support their day-to -day operations.
Project deliverables include an initial pilot to validate the technical design and implement radio equipment for improved user training experience prior to the rollout across the province.
The radio systems deployed at the facilities will provide secure and reliable communications and include emergency alarm capability for user safety.
The Public Safety Radio Network is the largest geographic public safety radio network in North America, covering 1,076,400 km2 with ~750,000 km2 of coverage
Ontario’s adult correctional facilities are run by the Ministry of the Solicitor General and youth justice facilities are run by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.