December 2014 Inbox
Friday, December 05, 2014 | 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, email

In response to “Washington Utilities Commission Recommends $2.9M in Fines for 9-1-1 Outage” from Dec. 10


I really don’t see any wisdom in fining CenturyLink for the outage. They don’t need a large fine to take funds that could be used to improve the 9-1-1 service away from the company. They should be able to get grants to make the system work better ... not fines to slow the 9-1-1 service from working better!

David Jolley

In response to “NPSTC Reiterates Stance that Non-P25 Equipment Harms Interoperability” from Dec. 4


The use of other standards for mission-critical solutions is a direct result of the Project 25 (P25) standard’s inability to achieve the original goals of a cost-competitive, vendor-interoperable solution. The market share of the leading manufacturer is greater than at any other time period since public-safety LMR trunking was introduced, and the only P25 interface that has been widely implemented is the basic over-the-air interface. The solution as it exists today is very different than the original model and marketplace envisioned more than 25 years ago.

Mark Hoppe
Principal Consultant
Blue Wing Services

In response to “LMCC Highlights Role of Frequency Advisory Committees as Representing Licensees Served” from Nov. 24


I totally agree that frequency coordination must have local representation. If you don't have this, it is essential that you are a part of the community that you are serving. Failure to maintain this connection will result in poor coordination. It becomes more of a money issue and less about public safety. We are charged with protecting the people who protect the public; without a public-safety connection, you will lose that aspect.

Jesse Griggs

In response to “New York Counties Launch Mutualink School Safety Pilot” from Nov. 18


While I applaud any effort to make schools safer, I can't help but question the effectiveness of most of the "solutions," the logic applied in making the decision or whether the majority of the systems are cost effective. I don't know what the New York state pilot program costs per school, but I would guess that it would be thousands of dollars per school. The problem is that it isn't the school that needs better safety. It is the front office, the lunchroom, the gym, the outside activity areas and the individual classrooms.

While the idea of having connection to other schools may have value (although I can't see what it is), or state or countywide law enforcement, which normally can't get to the school within less than an hour, I have to wonder how they overlooked the basics of emergency management which is get as many responders on the scene as quickly as possible.

To me, it appears that the New York trial system might be a little better than the Ohio system. I am aware of the active shooter detection system being tested in Massachusetts. It could be a good tool at the right price but it does not address assault by other weapons (axes currently appear to be the weapon of choice by modern terrorists). Since the first active shooter systems have been provided at no cost, the next step will be to determine if the ultimate selling price will be justified.

We have been involved in developing school systems for the better part of a decade. The cost for equipping an office, activity area or classroom is $99 each. The devices are battery-powered wireless call buttons with a five-year battery life. Using five years as a minimal operating life, the cost per classroom would be less than $20 per year or about 10 cents per day, based on a 198-day school year. As far as response time is concerned, a single $1,500 terminal can serve thousands of call buttons. When activated, the terminal can send a recorded voice message to VHF or UHF radios used on campus and to law enforcement officers off campus by text message to their cell phones. So, why is our phone not ringing off the desk?

Burch Falkner, CEO
Falcon Community Services
Birmingham, Alabama

In response to “New P25 Dynamic Regrouping Standard, Report on 2014 Progress Released” from Nov. 10


I noted with interest that Project 25 (P25) just celebrated its 25th anniversary; 25 years and still the standards are being defined and redefined. Vendors still can’t make things that work with each other’s radios or console equipment, and now with “dynamic regrouping” approved for the ever-evolving standard, we get a handout to the largest corporate welfare vendor for P25. I’m sure everyone that incorporates “dynamic regrouping” will be required to license it with that vendor. P25 is a failure in every conceivable way, and the costs of P25 equipment reflect that fact. If only taxpayers really understood the massive fraud that P25 is. Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) looks better and better every day.

Norm Alexander

In response to “NPSTC Investigates Interference from LED, Fluorescent Lights" from Oct. 6


I just read your articles on the LED interference and thought I would share my experience.

When these things first hit the market, the local power utility changed the flashing light at an intersection about 700 feet from my home. When I turned on my VHF amateur radio on 144.205 MHz. I was greeted by a buzz saw sound in unison with the flashing light.

The signal strength was 20 dB over S9. I called the utility, and they quickly replaced the lamp with the old incandescent unit and it has been quiet ever since.

Paul Whitehead, VE3EU
Mobile Radio Systems
Erin, Ontario

Click here for the November 2014 Inbox.
Click here for the October 2014 Inbox.
Click here for the September 2014 Inbox.





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