AN AGREEMENT between the Government and telecommunications operators will see the creation of a platform that will allow state agents to view activities at critical locations on the island from a central point.
E.G. Hunter, head of the National Works Agency (NWA), revealed in Parliament on Wednesday that a public emergency network is being created to allow his entity, with the aid of cameras linked into the telecoms companies’ cables, to view activities at various points across the island.
“The cables [are] being laid by [a] cable company and telecoms companies. We have an understanding that a certain portion of the capacity of those cables is [to be] given to the Government – to the NWA – free,” Hunter told members of the Public Administration and Appropriations Committee.
“That is to be used to establish what is called a public emergency network. This building (Gordon House) is to be connected to that network. The works towards Papine (St Andrew) that you see is to connect the Ministry of Agriculture, [and the] Scientific Research Council. The ODPEM (Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management) is already connected,” he added.
Hunter further said that data collected via the cable and cameras are to be channelled into a control centre.
“There is a control centre at the NWA, where we can sit, where we can look and see you. We see your car, we see the licence number. There are a number of cameras that are strategically placed. The intention is to build that out to cover the entire island,” Hunter said.
Stephen Shaw, manager of communication and customer services at the NWA, said the public emergency network represents an attempt to build out a traffic-management system.