APCO Interoperability Channel Naming 2017

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ten13

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Three things will become of all that:

(a) Motorola will make a BIG come back, and their stock prices will rise, as they convince unknowing police and fire chiefs that they MUST HAVE all these changes IMMEDIATELY (otherwise Kenwood will make them a better offer), and the chiefs' two-year old radio system that they just spent $xx million on "must" be replaced;

(b) No one will use any of that "Interoperability" nonsense.

(c) Big cities with loads of radios will weep and moan about all the changes necessary and the costs involved, and they will be given "waivers" from doing it, causing havoc among other cities who cannot afford it either, resulting in court cases...won by those cities...and the ultimate demise of this whole thing.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Three things will become of all that:

(a) Motorola will make a BIG come back, and their stock prices will rise, as they convince unknowing police and fire chiefs that they MUST HAVE all these changes IMMEDIATELY (otherwise Kenwood will make them a better offer), and the chiefs' two-year old radio system that they just spent $xx million on "must" be replaced;

(b) No one will use any of that "Interoperability" nonsense.

(c) Big cities with loads of radios will weep and moan about all the changes necessary and the costs involved, and they will be given "waivers" from doing it, causing havoc among other cities who cannot afford it either, resulting in court cases...won by those cities...and the ultimate demise of this whole thing.
It is overwhelming the numbers of interoperability channels that now exist. Have agencies built out so many regional interoperability "Silos" that the standards now need to accommodate them all? How will all these permutations be tested in radios that need to roam? How will users keep track of all this? The whole thing appears wasteful and confusing in my opinion.
 

SCPD

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I tend to agree. To the average user it is overwhelming regardless of naming and zoning.

I do know most entities only use less then a handful, others you may get a vhf agency having a few using say uhf tacs or 700 tacs as a surveillance use or such. None appear to follow intended uses on some.

Others don't use it at all or do not have them in. Your lucky if they have the old 800s in. I do know the vhf interops are used in allot areas out west depending where you are located others at least programmed in, use is another story depending on where you go.

I have yet to see but a few entities who have multi/tri band equipment having it all in there, which are not federal entities.

We have them but good luck getting anyone to use them. Occasionally a couple users or small group get smart and utilize them but it ends up being more of a chit chat simplex talk rather then interop.

It was asked once why do we need them anyway we have our own tac or interop channels. When explained you get a stare of blank dead eyes as if you lost them, they don't care, or it is too much.
 

SCPD

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I personally think that the interop channels are a must... we use VFIRE a ton out here... VLAW every now and then... There maybe to many channels currently I think that this is a necessity.
 

nd5y

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This document was first released about 10 years ago. The interoperability channels have been around even longer than that. It isn't news.
Three things will become of all that:

(a) Motorola will make a BIG come back, and their stock prices will rise, as they convince unknowing police and fire chiefs that they MUST HAVE all these changes IMMEDIATELY (otherwise Kenwood will make them a better offer), and the chiefs' two-year old radio system that they just spent $xx million on "must" be replaced;

(b) No one will use any of that "Interoperability" nonsense.

(c) Big cities with loads of radios will weep and moan about all the changes necessary and the costs involved, and they will be given "waivers" from doing it, causing havoc among other cities who cannot afford it either, resulting in court cases...won by those cities...and the ultimate demise of this whole thing.
If any of that was true it would have happened years ago.
 

CRVFC500FF

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Some Of This IS Very Useful

We have a Special Operations Resource Team that supplies medical and logistics materials to mass casualty incidents, search and rescue incidents, large community activities such as marches and marathons, etc. in the southern PA and Baltimore-Washington area. We have a set of VHF portables programmed with all of the VHF interop channels that can be used at a moments notice. The idea is that various agencies and individuals (such as search dog teams) can come on a scene and instantly use common channels to communicate with our radios or whatever radios they bring with them.
 

iamhere300

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The revised national interoperability channel naming convention has been released and is downloadable below in PDF format. The meat is in the tables at the end, but the explanation is a worthwhile read. The tables provide the frequencies,tones, names, etc. including NTIA channels.

http://www.napco.org/Resources/NPSTC_Interop_Channel_Naming-2017.pdf

Steve
Actually, it is the The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) convention, which has been adopted by APCO among others.
 

iamhere300

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Three things will become of all that:

(a) Motorola will make a BIG come back, and their stock prices will rise, as they convince unknowing police and fire chiefs that they MUST HAVE all these changes IMMEDIATELY (otherwise Kenwood will make them a better offer), and the chiefs' two-year old radio system that they just spent $xx million on "must" be replaced;

(b) No one will use any of that "Interoperability" nonsense.

(c) Big cities with loads of radios will weep and moan about all the changes necessary and the costs involved, and they will be given "waivers" from doing it, causing havoc among other cities who cannot afford it either, resulting in court cases...won by those cities...and the ultimate demise of this whole thing.
Kind of confused about what part of the standards is going to cause Motorola to have any comeback, nor what changes are going to require anything more than reprogramming of radios?

The naming standards are just modifying what has already been in place for years, and nothing about them require an agency to have tri-band, dual band, or more band radios. If you are on VHF, you use the VHF interop channels. If you are on low band, you use the low band interop channels.
 

iamhere300

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It is overwhelming the numbers of interoperability channels that now exist. Have agencies built out so many regional interoperability "Silos" that the standards now need to accommodate them all? How will all these permutations be tested in radios that need to roam? How will users keep track of all this? The whole thing appears wasteful and confusing in my opinion.
You are complicating something very simple.

Every band has interop channels. This is to name them appropriately. An example, during the West explosion all the incoming units were directed to go to VFIRE21. VFIRE 21 is known in many states as mutual aid, or fire mutual aid. That is the licensing convention for it, and has been for many years.

Some states call it "white". Some call it mutual aid 2. Under this naming convention agencies across the country will know it as VFIRE 21. In recent events it has worked very well.

My work vehicle has a repeater on VTAC 36, VTAC37, UTAC42, 8TAC93, and associated portables. It can set up anywhere and support these conventional ops - all an agency needs is those programmed in.
 

ten13

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"This document was first released about 10 years ago. The interoperability channels have been around even longer than that."

That's what I mean...they are never used, even after 10 years.

Keep in mind that the SOLE reason these "interoperability" channels came about was the false belief that they were needed after the World Trade Center.

However, the agencies involved in the WTC NEVER use any of those channels to this day, except for drills, and even that's a rarity. Ask just about any chief on either side of the Hudson River how they communicate with the department on the other side and, after a momentary blank stare, they will say, "I call our dispatcher to contact them on the phone...."

As I say, Motorola will make a mint, and ten years from now, we'll still be saying that no one uses those channels.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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You are complicating something very simple.

Every band has interop channels. This is to name them appropriately. An example, during the West explosion all the incoming units were directed to go to VFIRE21. VFIRE 21 is known in many states as mutual aid, or fire mutual aid. That is the licensing convention for it, and has been for many years.

Some states call it "white". Some call it mutual aid 2. Under this naming convention agencies across the country will know it as VFIRE 21. In recent events it has worked very well.

My work vehicle has a repeater on VTAC 36, VTAC37, UTAC42, 8TAC93, and associated portables. It can set up anywhere and support these conventional ops - all an agency needs is those programmed in.
Not sure how "simple" I am to believe this is. There are literally hundreds of channels. Yes I know some are duplication for simplex, some are for data. What it seems to me is another example of government run amok. 20 years ago, the concept of interoperability channels were VHF intercity and the five 800 MHz NPSPAC calling and Tac channels. Now for some apparently politically driven reason, there are 50 or 60 (I lost count) pairs. Where in the world would so many channels be required? Who is building this infrastructure? How will it be managed?

It makes sense that for the 800 NPSPAC mutual aid channels there may be crossband repeater or base with VHF, VHF Low and UHF counterparts. But why so much 700 MHz spectrum? 700 MHz radios have 800 MHz capability and can utilize the NPSPAC. And the NTIA blocks?

It just looks excessive, confusing and wasteful in my view.
 

K6CDO

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"This document was first released about 10 years ago. The interoperability channels have been around even longer than that."

That's what I mean...they are never used, even after 10 years.
The Common Channel Naming document was developed by NPSTC at the request of the national public safety community. A nationwide multi-discipline working group came to consensus on the naming convention. APCO is the ANSI standards body that processed the list to an ANSI-certified standard. All ANSI Standards have a review cycle; the 2017 edition is an update.

Keep in mind that the SOLE reason these "interoperability" channels came about was the false belief that they were needed after the World Trade Center.
Ya know, there is life outside of the NYC area, and the need for common channel naming existed long before 9/11. 155.4750 was FCC-designated as a LE common channel in the 1970s. 154.2650/,2800/.2950 were FCC-designated for fire mutual aid in the 1960s. Many states licensed and designated statewide mutual aid channels in the 1960s and 70s.

When the FCC released the 821-824/866-869MHz segment of the 800 MHz Band to public safety use in the late 1980s, the National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC), a FCC Federal Advisory Committee consisting of state and local public safety communications officials, was charged with developing the operating rules for that segment of the spectrum. The Committee designated the 5 Interoperability Channel pairs now known as 8CALL90 and 8TAC91 through 8TAC94 - in 1989.

Interoperability officially became a concept with the release of the FCC-NTIA Public Safety Wireless Advisory Committee's Report on 9/11/1996 - yes, a full 5 years prior to WTC. Public Safety officials were on Capital Hill to testify to Congress about the Report on it's fifth anniversary on 9/11/01.

However, the agencies involved in the WTC NEVER use any of those channels to this day, except for drills, and even that's a rarity. Ask just about any chief on either side of the Hudson River how they communicate with the department on the other side and, after a momentary blank stare, they will say, "I call our dispatcher to contact them on the phone...."
The Common Channel Naming standard is a technology tool to facilitate Interoperability. The lack of operational protocols to implement the technology tools is a separate issue altogether.

As I say, Motorola will make a mint, and ten years from now, we'll still be saying that no one uses those channels.
I don't see how one manufacturer will "make a mint" off of a standardized technology tool, especially one that uses analog transmissions in all bands except the 700 MHz band. As to future operational protocols, that is for the officials in your area to follow through on, not a technological (or vendor) issue.
 

gesucks

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We have a Special Operations Resource Team that supplies medical and logistics materials to mass casualty incidents, search and rescue incidents, large community activities such as marches and marathons, etc. in the southern PA and Baltimore-Washington area. We have a set of VHF portables programmed with all of the VHF interop channels that can be used at a moments notice. The idea is that various agencies and individuals (such as search dog teams) can come on a scene and instantly use common channels to communicate with our radios or whatever radios they bring with them.
Do you have any more information on you SORT team or a web link? Any information on you VHF radio cache that is available?
 

nd5y

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Who is building this infrastructure? How will it be managed?
Most infrastructure required by the national interoperability channels has already been in place for years in mobile radios, portable radios, command vehicle deployable base stations and repeaters, and in some areas there are permanent fixed base stations, repeaters and crossband gateways.

It is managed by the individual states. Many years ago the state governments were required to create interoperability executive committees and write interoperability plans. Some states have their own field operations guides similar to NIFOG. Many of these documents are published on the state web sites listed at the bottom of https://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Common_Public_Safety
 

milf

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As should be CLEAR here by now to anyone that has the slightest clue as to how Mutual Aid, known in modern parlance as INTEROPERABILITY, works, knows that this has NADA to do with Motorola, Harris, Tait, Relm, iCOM, Kenwood, Yo Momma Radios, or ANY one manufacturer/distributor. The only thing they have in common with this is they make and sell the radios and systems in use! The one issue on Interop is the mindset! Why some agencies just wont get the concept of family/brotherhood of First Responders/Emergency Services is way beyond STUPID. It is proven dangerous and in fact DEADLY to continue to be an island because you wont get it through your thick skull that working together is beneficial! Who gives a RATS BOOTY about jusrisdiction in SHTF situations!? So the incident may be passing through, originate, terminate in your LITTLE POND, SO WHAT!? Its about something too many of you numbskulls still fail to get, an OLD concept of sharing, and working together for an common goal! The other failure in all of this? LACK of training! Why is it so hard for someone to learn how to tell your officers/firefighters/EMS personnel to GO TO CH/TG XXX?! And show them HOW! You drill drill drill on everything else, DRILL ON THAT!
Oh well, maybe one day your life will depend on this hooey called interop eh? Bet your booty you will scream for everyone to get it right then eh?
 

ten13

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"Ya know, there is life outside of the NYC area, and the need for common channel naming existed long before 9/11"

BUT...if the City of New York, with its thousands of emergency employees, dozens of agencies and sub-agencies of their own, plus state, bi-state, and Federal agencies, plus other major agencies from surrounding counties, working daily in the same geographical area, a place where some of the biggest incidents happen, sometimes more than once a day, doesn't use these so-called "interoperatability" channels, just how important are they to a place with a name of, say, East Cupcake, need them?

Sometimes, if you pay attention, you hear people saying...rightfully...that the Federal government (or its own sub-non-government agencies, like APCO) should keep themselves out of state and local issues, primarily because bureaucrats in Washington DC have absolutely no idea what's necessary in places hundreds...if not thousands....of miles away from Washington, as in the above imaginary "East Cupcake." Yet they continue to dictate...yes, DICTATE...what and how local agencies shall operate, inflicting major financial expenses on these local taxpayers, sometimes on those who can least afford it, to institute a policy that, as discussed here, no one will ultimately or effectively use.

This is a primary example of that.
 

wa8pyr

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Why some agencies just wont get the concept of family/brotherhood of First Responders/Emergency Services is way beyond STUPID. It is proven dangerous and in fact DEADLY to continue to be an island because you wont get it through your thick skull that working together is beneficial! Who gives a RATS BOOTY about jurisdiction in SHTF situations!?
<snip>
The other failure in all of this? LACK of training! Why is it so hard for someone to learn how to tell your officers/firefighters/EMS personnel to GO TO CH/TG XXX?! And show them HOW! You drill drill drill on everything else, DRILL ON THAT!
Jurisdiction isn't the issue quite so much as, as you've rather vehemently pointed out, training and mindset.

In many agencies, some personnel still can't get past the habit of sticking to a handful of familiar channels, and while the command staff gives lip service to the concept of interoperability, they don't really do anything to establish specific policies regarding interoperability, or ensure that their personnel are trained in and abide by those policies.

A lot of areas (most, probably) are interoperable six ways to Sunday, at least to the extent they need to be. But getting some people to actually move away from those few familiar channels is a problem and always has been.

Nor is interoperability mandated by the Feds, as in the opinion of another poster; there are recommendations, but local agencies are welcome to use as many or as few of the interoperability channels as they need, or none, if they don't need them.

Interoperability isn't technology, it's a mindset; until that changes it will continue to be more of the same.
 
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