Turnpike ready to profit from excess broadband space in Eastern Pennsylvania

The turnpike has been planning to upgrade its communication system for more than five years because the microwave towers it has been using have nearly reached capacity. The system provides a variety of internal services to the agency, including telephone service, radio communications among offices and maintenance workers, financial information such as electronic toll collections from E-ZPass users and Toll By Plate customers, traffic cameras, electronic road signs and the turnpike computer network.

The need to upgrade the system became more acute in May 2020, when due to the pandemic the agency quickly switched to a cashless, electronic tolling system to eliminate contact between drivers and toll collectors. That greatly increased the number of tolls recorded by the system as well as photographs of the license plates of motorists who don’t use E-ZPass and receive a bill in the mail for their tolls.