More spectrum for first responders?

by on December 5, 2011 · 2 comments

Over at, [I write]( about the recent compromise on the D Block, which would give more spectrum to public safety, and I ponder if there may not be a better way..

>Patrol cars are as indispensable to police as radio communications. Yet when we provision cars to police, we don’t give them steel, glass and rubber and expect them to build their own. So why do we do that with radio communications?

Read [the whole thing here](

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  • Steve R.

    You wrote: “More often than not, however, the custom systems are incompatible with each other. … It begs the question, is more spectrum what public safety really needs?” Which is a correct assessment. The answer is NO, more spectrum really is not needed because this whole issue is a MANAGEMENT problem not a spectrum issue.

    Simply put, those responsible for designing pubic safety radio systems are not insisting on interoperability from the manufactures.  It is also my understanding that the “custom systems are incompatible” because the radio manufactures are using propriety systems rather than “open” systems to “force” government agencies to buy into their product line.

    Daryl Jones’ Weblog has a webpage dedicated to examining public safety radio systems. He writes: “Interoperability with radio systems that use different trunking technology (different brand of equipment and/or different software versions) is usually not possible.  … Trunked radios cost between three and five times more than non-trunked radios over the life of the equipment.

    He also writes: “Equipment manufacturers, sales organizations, some consultants, and some government agencies are motivated to create the illusion of need for highly complex and proprietary technologies, even when simple systems could fulfill the business requirements and are often a better choice. Beware of politicians, bureaucrats and sales people specifying systems that use unnecessarily complex and proprietary technology for first responder communication.

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