From the New York Times: The inability of most firefighters and police officers to talk to each other on their radios on Sept. 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center still has not been resolved completely, despite $7 billion in federal grants and other spending over the last seven years to improve the ability of public safety departments to talk to one another.

In fact, most experts in such communications say that it will be years — if ever — before a single nationwide public safety radio system becomes a reality.

In the meantime, public safety and homeland security officials have patched together voice networks in some regions, including New York, that link commanders at various agencies. But the focus in Washington has turned to the development of the next generation of emergency communications, wireless broadband, which seeks to succeed where radio has failed.

Many of the issues that helped shape the current dysfunctional public-safety radio networks threaten the creation of a uniform standard for wireless broadband communications.