The Pennsylvania Statewide Radio Network (PA-STARNet) is the Commonwealth’s wireless voice and data network for public safety and emergency response communications. Initiated by Act 148 of 1996, it replaced multiple incompatible radio systems used by various state government agencies.


PA-STARNet is used by 22 Commonwealth agencies, both houses of the Legislature, business partners, and other external organizations including county and municipal agencies serving dispatch and mobile voice and data communications for public safety and emergency response.

P25 radio system

  • Technology - VHF, UHF, 800 MHz open-standards network
  • Infrastructure - 150 towers, 288 microwave links, redundant controllers, network operations center
  • Coverage - Mobile, accessible coverage exceeds 95% in every county
  • Users - 22 Commonwealth agencies; both houses of the Legislature; federal, county, and municipal agencies; utility and public transit companies
  • Interoperability - P25 provides expanded options to connect to all county 911 centers, and local agencies with P25 systems are finally able to easily interoperate or simply join

For more details, see our Fact Sheet (PDF).

To research approved radio equipment, visit Motorola or EFJohnson.

PA-STARNet shared services opportunity

The Commonwealth’s new P25 radio system (Phase II TDMA) represents an opportunity for counties to reduce costs as well as significantly improve interoperability.

Solution highlights

  • Greater than 95% mobile coverage for all 67 counties
  • Standards-based solution, fully APCO P25 compliant
  • Geographically separated redundant M3 zone core
  • Secure AES FIPS 140-2 encrypted communications
  • Link Layer Authentication supports enhanced radio security
  • All frequency bands supported
  • Enhanced capacity and redundancy

County partnerships with PA-STARNet advantages

  • Reduced capital and operational costs
  • Greater competitive advantage in securing grant dollars
  • Interoperability across federal, state, and local agencies
  • Ability to maximize current and future investments at the state and local levels
  • Use of existing robust microwave backhaul network
  • Dedicated technical resources and maintenance team
  • Spectrum efficiency
  • Proven technology
  • Autonomous operation

Note: Partner provides additional frequency/channel capacity.

Partnership types

  • Shared Master Site
  • Inter-RF Subsystem Interface (ISSI) connection to PA-STARNet
  • Inter-Zone connection with existing ASTRO 25 systems

Request for services

Send an email to to request services from PA-STARNet, such as broadband connectivity or space on commonwealth-owned towers. Please make sure to include complete and accurate contact information to allow us to respond to your request.


The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Statewide Communication Interoperability Plan (SCIP) is a stakeholder-driven, multi-jurisdictional, and multi-disciplinary statewide strategic plan to enhance interoperable and emergency communications. The SCIP is a strategic planning tool to help Pennsylvania prioritize resources, strengthen governance, identify future investments, and address interoperability gaps.

By overlaying the commonwealth’s 800 MHz system with a network of UHF repeaters and mapping each repeater to an OpenSky talk group, the state allows users of other radio systems to communicate directly with state agencies.

Responsibility for PA-STARNet

  • Statewide Radio Network Division - provides management, and administration for the design, development, operation, and maintenance of PA-STARNet, including support for agency and county adoption, use, and fleet management. Please refer to Management Directive 245.15.
  • PA-STARNet Strategic Workgroup - Consisting of agency executives responsible for providing guidance, planning, and strategic implementation recommendations as it relates to PA-STARNet to mitigate the challenges of interoperable communications for public safety and emergency communications.
  • PA-STARNet Operations Workgroup - Consisting of operational-level representatives from using agencies, provides a forum to discuss PA-STARNet status, development, policy, interoperability, and other key issues, resulting in guidance for PA-STARNet management as well as information sharing among system users.


FirstNet’s contractor, AT&T, is building out the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) across the country. The Director of STARNet, the Bureau of Communications and Information Services, is the State Single Point Of Contact (SPOC) for FirstNet.

You should carefully assess your options for public safety broadband by asking questions about:

  • device costs and pricing plans 
  • priority and pre-emption features 
  • local coverage and capacity
  • network resiliency, especially during major emergencies and regional power outages
  • access to a store for useful interoperable apps
  • cybersecurity and agency privacy

Issues that require special attention include priority and preemption as well as interoperability. For an introduction to these issues, read these brief white papers: Priority and Preemption and Interoperability.

Contact information

Statewide Radio Network Division
Bureau of Communications and Information Services
Pennsylvania State Police
8001 Bretz Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17112

Phone: 717-787-8596
Fax: 717-346-5396