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Canadian Coast Guard To Modernize Marine Communications and Traffic Services

John Konrad
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June 4, 2012

Canadian-Coast-Guard-LogoThe Canadian Coast Guard has announced a plan to modernizing twelve Marine Communications and Traffic Centres across the country with state-of-the-art technology to ensure the uninterrupted communication and traffic services of mariners.

“The safety of Canadians and mariners is the top priority of the Canadian Coast Guard,” said Minister Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. “Improving and integrating communications centres across the country will ensure that important information can be properly broadcast to mariners and emergency calls will be received under all circumstances.”

Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centres broadcast maritime safety information such as weather and navigational warnings, regulate traffic movement and monitor distress and safety calls. Information is transmitted from a network of 214 radio towers and 24 radar installments across the country. The telecommunications network provides standard coverage in all regions of the country, but the communication and traffic services centres currently use outdated technology and are limited in their ability to provide full service during emergencies or unforeseen events like power failures.

The Canadian Coast Guard is modernizing and consolidating its Marine Communications and Traffic Services into twelve centres across the country with updated, interconnected, technology. The modernized centres will be linked to pick up any calls from other connected facilities.

In addition to technology upgrades, the Coast Guard promises additional staff and resources will be provided to some facilities. As a result, the Coast Guard will be able to consolidate services into these better centres and close those with outdated technology. All of the radio towers and radar facilities will remain where they are to maintain the current level of coverage.

As new radio and navigation technology has become available over the years, the Coast Guard has integrated services into fewer communication and traffic services centres. Over the last 30 years, the Coast Guard has twice expanded the capacity of these centres using new technology, allowing for a consolidation and modernization of services into fewer centres. For example, in the 1990s, the Coast Guard used new technology to go from 44 centres to 22 centres.

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