King County, Washington DAS Transition Plan and Coverage Acceptance Testing


The King County Emergency Radio Communication System (KCERCS) migration to the Puget Sound Emergency Radio Network (PSERN) entailed a substantial architecture reconfiguration including frequency and site changes throughout the County.  The public safety radio system migration affects over 600 Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) which have been implemented throughout the County to provide enhanced in-building coverage for first responders in public and private facilities.

The County engaged Televate to develop a detailed transition plan to ensure that the DAS continue to operate effectively during and following the radio system migration, while minimizing the cost of the transition and the disruption and impact to the first responders and building owners/managers.

Project Tasks

Televate provided the following analysis and key deliverables:

  • Data Gathering: Televate researched and compiled expert options for transitioning public safety DAS in privately- and publicly-owned buildings and also researched similar types of systems throughout the nation that have gone through a comparably large-scale DAS transition.  Televate summarized these findings in a DAS Transition Options Report.
  • Building Owner Impact: Based on the potential options developed and the anticipated reconfiguration activities and associated costs, Televate developed a Building Owner Impact Report and Presentation to alert and inform the local building owners of the upcoming transition and the anticipated impact on their facilities.
  • Transition Plan: Televate developed a preliminary transition plan and roadmap for the entire inventory of DAS throughout the County.  The plan addresses the necessary actions for DAS that rely on Class A and Class B amplifiers as well as the different actions required depending on the environment affecting each DAS, including:
    • Frequency changes only
    • Frequency changes along with the introduction of a new site in the area
    • Frequency changes along with the elimination of an existing site.
  • Final Transition Plan: Televate developed a final transition plan detailing the recommendations to transition all public safety DAS within the County to the new PSERN network, while identifying, yet minimizing the impacts to first responder operations. The plan included:
    • A timeline consistent with the radio system transition
    • Detailed technical analyses of the various options available to PSERN and business owners in the region
    • A range of risks and impacts to building owners in the form of a risk/impact analysis
    • A staffing level report recommending appropriate staffing levels to support the DAS transition.
  • DAS Policies Recommendations: Televate developed recommendations for new DAS policies for the PSERN Operator that will guide new DAS installations/commissioning, including:
    • Inventory and tracking of key attributes
    • Operator/Licensee approval
    • FCC registration
    • Annual recertification requirements
    • The latest fire code requirements (Nationally and in each jurisdiction).

Televate was later retained to support the Coverage Acceptance Testing (CAT) of PSERN in King County. Testing was performed in-vehicle, in-building, and on water vessels over much of the 2,307 square miles of the County. This comprehensive test program included both Bit Error Rate (BER) testing and Digital Audio Quality (DAQ) testing and was conducted over a 5-month timeframe.