When I was a kid, one of my favorite games was Mouse Trap. It also was one of my least favorite games. What I liked most about it was its intricacy -- at least it seemed intricate when viewed through the eyes of a 10-year-old. And there was something fascinating about watching the mechanism go through its paces, eventually lowering the trap to snare the mouse icon.

What I didn't like was that my kid brother, eight years my junior and an annoying pest -- again, as seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old -- would almost inevitably happen by and clumsily send the game board flying just before the magic moment was to ensue.

I thought about Mouse Trap, for the first time in years, in the aftermath of my participation in a free webinar entitled, "P25: The Road Ahead," which launches today on MRT's website. The webinar, which I moderated, presents a wide-ranging discussion of Project 25, the suite of digital radio standards currently being developed by vendors and consultants under the aegis of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials.

So what does P25 have to do with Mouse Trap? Actually, they have a lot in common. The building process for both involves a a great many moving parts and a delicate balance that can easily be upset.

During the discussion, public-safety communications consultant John Powell, who is a member of the P25 Steering Committee, opined that while everyone involved in the process would have liked to have seen the light at the end of the tunnel by now, the reality is that, given the pace of technology development, the day when P25 can be considered to be in a maintenance mode likely is still well into the future.

A great many people, myself included, have wondered why -- 16 years after the process first was launched -- the P25 standard is nowhere near completion, particularly when TETRA is thriving in Europe after a comparatively short gestation period. All you have to do to get the answer is listen to the webinar mentioned above. It gave me a new perspective -- and a new respect for the challenges faced by those who are working to develop the standard, as well an enhanced appreciation for their dedicated efforts. Given that, I can't think of a better time of year for the webinar to launch.

E-mail me at gbischoff@mrtmag.com.