DC Fire is on 800MHz because it made logical sense for interoperability with the region back in 1999 when it was built. The reason MPD is on 460MHz has nothing to do with existing infrastructure, as most of that equipment was ancient GE Mastr-based. Once Montgomery County went to 800MHz in 2004, there were no more channels available in region 20. The only way for DC to increase capacity for MPD was to reuse existing UHF frequencies on entirely new equipment. That is what led to the unique system of today. 700Mhz was vaporware back in those days. Also, there is no separate MPD 800MHz system. Certain talkgroups were simulcast for interoperability with non-UHF subscribers. That is no longer neccesary with dual-band radios. If anything, this design squeezed every possible enhancement out of the money it was allotted and far from being a waste of money.
Me. I belive that the FCC should have left 800 MHZ to cell phone companys. The backbone system, increased number of towers needed with with 800 mhz, versus VHF / UHF. It adds up to alot of money. Bad for agencys, good for radio comm companys. They smile all teh way to the bank. And that does not include the serivce contract. Service contracts benefit agencys ..."in a way", cause it motivates radio techs to get it right the first time, versus basically working " For free". Or if there is no service contract, they come out and work for about $25.00 to $50.00 an hour ; and some..still cannot find, diagnosis, or correct the problem
Public Safety needs to be either VHF or UHF. If anything, mix those two bands for that county or city, and put dual band mobiles in the vehicles. vehicular repeaters &Cross band where needed. This endsures continuity of comms between agencys, as well as dispatch.
People have supposively forgot about VHF low. I guess because it is not popular anymore, it is neglected. Pipeline corporations, some industrial companys and businesses are the only people whom are taking advantage of it.
A communications manager cannot deny his agencys radio information. It is not prudent in my opinion, to have " One half here, and the other half there" ; and also monoploizing dispatchers time, by having them repeating information that agencys should be able to " Copy Direct."
One agency being on VHF and the other UHF, is not entirely constricting.
Police on VHF, listen to fire on UHF ; predicting ahead of time = Streets / roads that need to be blocked off. Help ahead of time of building evacuation ( exposure / conflaggeration ). Clear routes ahead of time for an ambulance transiting a high traffic area. You can listen, and gain an abundance of wealth...BY JUST keeping your ears open ( as in my encrytion thread - "Washington DC" 30 Oct 01 ). Polic Supervisors, just by listening can distribute manpower accordingly for a " Serious event" by just listening to the Fire Dept radio system.
I am a huge fan of dual band radios, crossbanding, repeaters , and encryption.
Radio System communications managers have to keep the benefit of the agency(s), that they represent, at heart. Radio system managers have to build, tailor, and mold a radio communciations system that benefits all, and keeps "ALL" agency(s) well informed at times of emergencys, disasters, and routine operations ; that the agencys may better benefit and support each other. If there is negelct in being informed, and receiving support, let it not be due to terrible radio communications.