What other states are finding out the hard way.

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Premium Subscriber
Jul 9, 2003
090-45-50 W, 39-43-22 N
Option One: Develop a genuinely open standard plan that every agency and any vendor can quickly and easily participate in. Fix the DPS's problems without saddling the local agencies with costs they can't afford. Leave the local traffic local, but allow for statewide interoperability when it is really needed by installing cross-band repeaters or ACU-1000's at the cost of $50k per county instead of spending millions of dollars on statewide dedicated towers with 95% portable coverage. Leverage existing equipment and establish multiple inexpensive local gateways so local Fire/EMS/PS users can use their existing equipment to access the interoperable system without spending $5k per radio; Install enough redundancy so that when (not if) a portion of the system fails, life can go on. K.I.S.S.

Option Two: Develop a closed proprietary system and select a single vendor through non-competitive bidding. Base it on 7-800 MHz which the non-technical bureaucrats will be told works perfectly in rough terrain and foliage, but may require a "few" more towers. Make the system big and complex enough to allow every rural fire department's brush truck to stream live video of a combine fire to the Chief's wife without using existing private carrier systems. Require every small agency with a $18,000 annual budget (based on ice cream socials and fish-fry's) to spend $5k per portable radio, 2-3 times that for fully enabled mobiles, and pay a monthly per-radio user fee. Prepare for an overly complex system with 2 to 5 times budget overruns and "unforeseen" technical issues. Plan on a 10-year obsolescence cycle. Then buy that vendor's stock, and use their dividends to pay for part of the cost of the system.

Daryl Jones has graciously published a list of the issues other states/regions have suffered under. Go to Daryl Jones' Weblog and read the growing list, and subscribe for updates.

Follow the continuing saga of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's request for user comments on non-competition in the Public Safety world.

Follow the activity of Washington State Senator Reuven Carlyle as he asks about the odor of Seattle's proposed system.

Draw your own conclusions from this: http://blog.tcomeng.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/SanJoseBroadbandLetter-2010.pdf .
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