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T&D World Magazine

Virginia Co-op Installs Integrated Radio Solution

Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) in Fredericksburg, Virginia, has completed installation of TaitNet MPT1327 radio network solution. The system supports 155 mobile and 35 portable radios used by line crews across REC’s territory. REC selected the Tait Electronics system through its membership in the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC). NRTC brought together multiple vendors to create a state-of-the-art, integrated system and negotiated on behalf of REC to lease the required 200 MHz spectrum. NRTC developed a solution for REC that positions the cooperative well to quickly meet future needs, including workforce management.

REC is a member-owned cooperative providing service to more than 102,000 homes and businesses in portions of 16 Virginia counties. REC maintains more than 12,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the mouth of the Rappahannock River.

Tait’s MPT1327 radio network offers REC a cost-effective infrastructure that allows voice and data on the same system and efficient two-way radio communications over a large geographic area. The network uses 220 MHz spectrum, covers six sites and includes features that allow REC to operate safely and efficiently. Through its membership in NRTC, REC purchased TVD’s Dash automatic vehicle location (AVL) component, which was integrated into each Tait radio, giving REC the ability to locate crews without the need of additional external equipment.

Rappahannock President and CEO Kent Farmer said that the goal is to interconnect this system with four neighboring electric cooperatives for interoperability during power restoration efforts.

The modular design of the MPT 1327 allows a range of features in a system of any size, which can be expanded from a single channel to a nationwide network. Tait Electronics offers NRTC members system supply, project management, installation and maintenance. As one of the top suppliers of this type of technology, TaitNet MPT 1327 is the most widely used trunked radio open protocol in the world.

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