Mills & Reeve advises on critical telecoms programme to replace HM Coastguard emergency radio network infrastructure

Mills & Reeve has advised the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) on a major procurement project which has led to the appointment of telent Technology Services to build and maintain a modern and resilient fibre-based radio network under a 10 year £170m+ contract.

The replacement network will improve HM Coastguard’s ability to communicate with ships in UK waters to advise on navigation hazards and to receive distress alerts and track ships through automatic identification. Operationally this will allow HM Coastguard to continue to save lives by communicating with Coastguard helicopters, planes, and emergency tugs as well as launching and directing RNLI and volunteer lifeboats. .

The network enables HM Coastguard to fulfil its role as a Category One Responder (Maritime) to emergency calls along with the Police, Fire and Ambulance services and is designated as critical national infrastructure. The existing emergency network is built on a platform that has been deregulated by OFCOM, so it is of national importance that it is replaced.

Martin Priestley, programme lead partner at Mills & Reeve said: “This is a vitally important investment in Coastguard infrastructure through the construction of a new national radio network, without which Her Majesty’s Coastguard simply could not fulfil its role in protecting life on the coast and in our waters into the future. We’ve very much enjoyed working as part of the dedicated MCA team to help deliver this critical infrastructure programme which will deliver lasting benefits over many years.”

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