July Inbox: Reader Feedback
Thursday, July 01, 2010 | Comments
Following are comments we’ve received from readers about recent online and print news and articles. If you’d like to comment on an article, e-mail edit@RRMediaGroup.com.
 
In response to “Dallas Tests First Commercial P25 ISSI System” from July 21
 
Editor:
 
I’m curious to know if the entire $2.9 million in federal grant funding paid for just the interface or if other equipment, such as radios, were purchased with the grant money. If so, then how much was the actual Inter Subsystem Interface (ISSI) switch and cost to link the two systems together? If not, then that was one expensive ISSI switch! (Editor’s Note: The ISSI, site equipment and installation cost a little more than $2 million, according to Fred Keithley, NCTCOG director of the department of community services and public-safety communications.)
 
A couple of other things to note in this article with the first being in paragraph five where Cynthia Wenzel Cole is quoted as saying, “We had some typical glitches, but the services that the project demands all worked fine,” but the article doesn’t indicate what the “typical glitches” were. As a radio systems manager, I would have liked this information to have been shared in the article.
 
Then in paragraph seven, Cole is quoted as saying, "The ISSI is an integral piece of the command-and-control interoperability overlay. It’s not intended for daily use; it’s intended for interoperability.” This makes me wonder if she really said this or was she misquoted. (Editor’s Note: It is not a misquote. Cole made the statements.) If she really said this, then it makes me wonder when everybody will get off of the idea that interoperability is strictly for command-and-control operations, because true interoperability is needed by more than just command staff people calling the shots. I have found that real interoperability is for the personnel in the boots on the ground who are out there every day working the accidents, putting out fires, chasing the bad guys, etc.
 
Forget interoperability for command and control because it needs to be given to the firefighters working in county 1 who are responding with firefighters in county 2 to an accident with injuries on or near the county line with each county being on separate radio systems or the police officers in county 1 assisting the sheriff’s deputies in county 2 with a man hunt or high-speed chase. True interoperability between systems must be for daily use, and if we can get interoperability between systems up and running on a 24/7 basis for the personnel who will use it the most in everyday responses, then interoperability for command-and-control personnel will already be in place and they will not have to stop to think how to use it.
 
Robert “Bob” L. Williams Jr.
Radio Systems Analyst
City of Marietta, Ga.
 

 
In response to “Minnesota Utility Asks FCC to Allow TETRA in U.S.” from July 9
 
Editor:
 
The only reason I can see that TETRA wouldn’t be allowed in the United States is pressure from Motorola. Motorola has the most to lose. Everyone else — users and manufacturers — would benefit.
 
Dave Colter
CEO
Northmark Communications
 

 
In response to “D Block and Public Safety: Point/Counterpoint” on July 14
 
Editor:
 
I understand the principles behind the FCC's reasoning to implement a nationwide system for public safety tunneled into the future 4G commercial systems. I understand public safety's concern to have the spectrum under their more direct control to allow for the leverage to get the systems they want. So who is right; who is wrong? Both have the same end goal in sight — to provide a nationwide ubiquitous advanced communications system for public safety. The FCC is fearful that public safety will not be able to pull off their plan, and the public-safety community is fearful the FCC will not be able to attain the requirements of public safety without significant “home rule.”
 
But let’s not forget that this system, however, well intentioned will not now, and possibly ever, supply the critical core needs of public safety, which is instant, reliable voice communications. Long Term Evolution (LTE) at 700 MHz can provide voice, but not the voice public safety has used and developed over the years. LTE voice will be “patchable” to the more conventional voice used by public safety, but only as a supplemental service, never as core.
 
Whichever way this goes, let’s hope both factions keep their eye on the goal. Lives depend on it.
 

 
In response to “Narrowbanding FAQs: Week of July 5” on July 5
 
Editor:
 
When is someone with clout going to ask the FCC just how narrowbanding VHF really creates anything but an expense?
 
Bob Bauer
 

 
Click here for the June 2010 Inbox.
Click here for the May 2010 Inbox.


 
 
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