Telecommunications services to Texas communities
LCRA operates a telecommunications network to support the electric transmission system, facilitate the generation of electric power, support field operations, relay water and hydrometric data, and support public safety and community development functions throughout its service territory. Through its 900-megahertz (MHz) and 700MHz radio system, LCRA provides, on a non-profit, cost-shared basis, reliable telecommunications services to employees and a number of public safety and first responder organizations and communities throughout Central Texas.
The following describes the telecom services LCRA offers:
In 1997, LCRA implemented a 900 MHz trunked radio communications system, which is operated under licenses from the Federal Communications Commission, for use throughout Central Texas. The mobile radio system has the capacity to provide clear, reliable communications service to eligible organizations, although LCRA does not make it available as a common carrier. With more than 67 radio tower sites strategically scattered within LCRA’s service territory, radio coverage reaches from McCulloch, Menard, and Sutton counties to Goliad and Matagorda counties along the Gulf Coast. More than 8,800 mobile radio users rely on the LCRA system for their daily communications.
More than 45 cities, counties, electric utilities, and other public organizations use LCRA’s radio system. Among the users: the cities of New Braunfels and San Marcos, Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, Pedernales Electric Cooperative, and Capital Metro. Its mobile coverage is 90 percent within the LCRA service territory, providing reliable mobile communications throughout the region.
Optical fiber and microwave
The majority of LCRA’s administrative and operational facilities are connected via a communications system comprised of fiber optic cable and digital microwave. The fiber optic lines are installed along electric transmission routes from Buchanan Dam, through Austin, to the Fayette Power Project near LaGrange.
A fiber route also runs from Austin to a substation in Schertz, just north of San Antonio. These fiber routes are then connected with digital microwave to provide the communications backbone necessary for remote communications with electric transmission substations.
Telecom community development
Infrastructure is essential to sustain economic development and growth of Texas communities. As a part of the LCRA’s commitment to constituent areas, telecommunications may be available to Texas communities and public sector entities, if qualified. LCRA offers loaner radios to other organizations needing reliable communications for emergencies and special events.
For additional information, contact the LCRA telecom team at 1-800-776-5272.
LCRA has begun working with independent school districts within the service territory to provide reliable radio communications. These school districts are using LCRA’s 900 MHz radios system to provide low-cost, efficient communications for administration, campus, bus and maintenance operations.
These radios become a tool that assists the schools with a variety of situations. LCRA works with each school district to tailor the radio systems to meet specific needs. The radios help school personnel solve immediate issues, such as an air-conditioning unit needing attention or dropping students at home on time.
Loaner radio program
LCRA offers loaner radios to nonprofit organizations. These organizations can take advantage of excellent communication technology when they are having a special event within the LCRA service territory. The loaners are issued on an as-needed first come, first served basis. A telecommunications customer service representative can explain the details of this program to interested groups. For more information, contact Marilyn Bessire at (512) 482-6393.