Emergency Communications GAO Report to Congresss

Status
Not open for further replies.

zerg901

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
3,193
I dont get it. Over at justintv.com I can see people streaming live video from all around the world via iPhones. I have ridden along with people on bicycles in Tokyo and Florida. Road along with a trucker in Sweden. Walked thru Hollywood. etc This technology is already out there - and apparently it is not too expensive. Maybe $500 per iPhone. What exactly will be gained by spending billions on a dedicated public safety broadband system in the USA? I dont get it. Wouldn't it be a heck of a lot cheaper just to give priority to public safety users on a single unified nationwide system?

?????????
 

zerg901

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
3,193
I must have hit the nail on the head :)

Oh good.
 

DPD1

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
1,994
Nobody can answer, because nobody else knows either. ;-)

Tons of fed money went into phone system infrastructure to begin with. For whatever amount of money they want to create this separate system, it would still be peanuts in comparison to the phone system. Yet, the phone system typically still takes a total dump in any major regional catastrophe. Why they think a new system with a fraction of the redundancy that the phone system has, would be any different... who knows. I think they just think it sounds cool.
 

wa8pyr

Technischer Guru
Lead Database Admin
Joined
Sep 22, 2002
Messages
5,198
Location
Ohio
I dont get it. Over at justintv.com I can see people streaming live video from all around the world via iPhones. I have ridden along with people on bicycles in Tokyo and Florida. Road along with a trucker in Sweden. Walked thru Hollywood. etc This technology is already out there - and apparently it is not too expensive. Maybe $500 per iPhone. What exactly will be gained by spending billions on a dedicated public safety broadband system in the USA? I dont get it. Wouldn't it be a heck of a lot cheaper just to give priority to public safety users on a single unified nationwide system?

?????????
Commercial systems are simply not designed for public safety loading; they're designed for average daily consumer loading, and when something happens to cause the loading to suddenly skyrocket, the system overloads and crashes. Try making a phone call in the area of the stadium the next time there is a major event, and you'll see.

It's even worse in a disaster, when everyone and their brother tries to make a phone call or send Uncle George video of what just happened all at the same time, and the network crashes. This is a known issue, and was demonstrated again just yesterday in Chardon, OH during the school shooter incident, when the cell phone systems crashed under the load.

Priority is not the panacea it might seem; all it does is give someone who gets a busy signal priority in the busy queue, which means they go to the head of the line for an available channel. When 50 priority users are lined up waiting for channels on top of the thousands of civilians already sending video and tying up the system, they're going to be waiting awhile. For a mission-critical voice system, this simply isn't acceptable.

A dedicated public safety system is designed for public safety loading and is much more robust, which is one of the reasons it costs more.

And if you were a firefighter, would you trust your life in a burning building to a consumer grade communications device, even one as well made as an iPhone? Public safety grade devices are far more expensive because they're far more rugged. They have to be. So in the end, that public safety grade iPhone still has to have knobs and buttons and waterproofing, and is going to cost $2500, not $500.
 

zerg901

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 19, 2005
Messages
3,193
I think that public safety comms systems crash just as quickly as commercial systems in disasters - especially with channel loading of 70 (?) mobiles per channel.

We don't have seperate gasoline, electricity, food, coinage, air quality, morality, engineering, chemistry, mathematics, etc systems for public safety - why should there be a separate broadband system for public safety?

On the other third hand - if there WAS a unique system for public safety, and the public safety system used "priority access" on the consumer grade system as a backup - that could be a very robust situation.

(PS - I have no idea about any specifics - wiil there be shared sites? - will there be shared antennas? - will there be shared transmitters? - will there be shared emergency backup power? - etc etc)

Conceptually - there probably needs to be 1 big plan that covers all land mobile comms in the entire world - blending together low earth orbit satellites; 'in building' transmitters and antennas; and earth stations - encompassing all military and civilian needs

I will stop now
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top