OH, PA, WV Regional Admin
- Feb 5, 2003
- Greater Pittsburgh/Beaver County
First let me say I do not mean to disparage ICORRS with my comments. It is obviously an excellent running system. But I haven't been properly 'sold' on it's benefits. I border OH and WV in my municipality and have zero interop with those depts so perhaps I am used to arbitrary lines defining who I can talk to or not. That said, from my perspective we would benefit most from interop with state agencies as we are in the BVPS 10 mile circle. Also other county depts have a need to communicate with the Turnpike and could benefit from being on STARNet.And lose all the interop advantages with the neighbors...??
Starnet is a Mobile only coverage system. Yes including the Phase 2 VHF 7 8 and U sites they are deploying. Portable coverage for PSP is being provided by in vehicle repeaters.
By providing their own infrastructure they can ensure they get the coverage they want. This applies in ICORRS as well as PA Starnet. So if they decide to deploy their own infrastructure- they would probably go with ICORRS since #1, the network backhaul to the Mastersite in Greensburg for ICORRS is already in place at their 911 center..... and #2, the interoperability with Butler and Lawrence.
Just my $.02 and as always YMMV and no warranty expressed or implied.
We have a STARnet tower right in the middle of my borough, so coverage here is likely to be great. If my county partnered with STARNet and added more fill-in sites to the 3 STARNet sites already in our borders I think we would save money vs building another overlaid system seperate from the 3 existing sites. We are already using VHF and I think it could further save money by reusing any existing hardware possible, such as depts with already compatible APX radios, vehicle antennas, site antennas, and so on. I do not know if our current frequencies can be reused for trunking or not due to licensing/coordination. I think this is what Lawrence did in part so maybe it's possible. With our terrain I'd very much prefer to stick to VHF.
Regarding the networking, that seems like a non-issue as the STARNet microwave network is accessible here and I'd be surprised if the 911 center didn't already have a connection. I'm assuming the current connection to Greensburg is for some shared Region 13 resources like Knowledge Center or JNET/CLEAN related.
Honestly, I can see where ICORRS served a purpose before STARNet existed, and then again once Opensky proved to be a turd. But now, I think it would benefit everyone involved if it was rolled into STARNet P25 moving forward. Disparate networks just create barriers to interoperability. I look at Ohio and how many local and regional systems have been folding into MARCS-IP and it seems like it works for them.
Some of my frustration is the fact that our county just does whatever they want and if they seek any input it's only from the 3 paid depts in the county and not the rank and file smaller depts that somehow have to figure out how to pay for it. As far as I'm concerned we need to fix the few issues with what we have and ride out some return on investment from all the upgrades just done at the 2012 narrowbanding push.
Tony, any further discussion we should probably take private and I'm happy to listen to your advice as you obviously have a lot of experience.