APCO hosts conference in SLC
The APCO Conference & Exhibition provided a forum for exchanging ideas, opinions and commercials. Following are a few “quotables” MRT editors picked up in sessions and on the floor.
Glen S. Nash, incoming APCO president, on efforts to speed the availability of wireless E9-1-1: “We will continue that fight until it becomes a reality because we know the role in protecting life and property.” Nash’s other goals: improve APCO’s automatic frequency coordination service; help the FCC with its universal licensing service; resolve 800MHz interference; improve frequency coordination with Canada and Mexico; secure spectrum for future needs; and urge members to make plans to use more spectrum efficient systems using Project 25-compliant equipment or other technologies.
Joe L. Hanna, a Dallas-based consultant, cautioned carriers and PSAPs about their potential liability after the Oct. 1 wireless E9-1-1 Phase II deadline, suggesting that carriers that have been asked to provide service but haven’t, and that PSAPs receiving cost recovery money without asking carriers for wireless E9-1-1 service, might face lawsuits. “When someone dies, someone wants someone to blame …. I would not want to be PSAP manager, police or fire chief, mayor or city manager explaining why I’m getting the money, and I didn’t ask for wireless E9-1-1,” Hanna said.
Pam Montanari, radio systems manager for emergency communications in Pinellas County, FL, on the Motorola “Greenhouse” test of high-speed data on a 150kHz-wide 700MHz channel: “Greenhouse is enabling users to do in the field what they previously could only do at their desks.” David P. Byrum, a communications engineer with the Pinellas County sheriff’s communications maintenance division added: “The county commission wants all departments to work together. Motorola’s project is heading the direction of integration that would tie everything together.”
David Funk, deputy director at the National Correctional Law Enforcement Technology Center, on 700MHz Regional Planning Committee funding and the center’s pre-coordination database: “So far, we’ve funded 14 committees that have convened. Someone from each region must come to Denver to learn how to use the database.” Among other things, the pre-coordination database helps RPCs to allot FCC-allocated frequencies for city, county and state agencies. The database is programmed to avoid a problem with the 800MHz frequencies: depletion of allotments before tardy RPCs convened.
RoxAnn Brown, chairman of APCO’s Project 39, on resolving 800MHz interference from commercial carriers to public safety radio communications systems: “We want to provide multiple, reality-based and, where possible, tested short-term, mid-term and long-term solutions for 800MHz interference issues.” The project’s timetable: Within six months, catalog all public safety 800MHz interference issues. Within 12 months, identify and test all potential short-term interference solutions. Within 18 months, identify and, if possible, test all mid-term and long-term solutions as applied to at least two identified public safety agencies to prove that they work.
John Powell, University of California at Berkeley Police Department, on Project 25 update: “Project 25 Phase I development serves the majority of the U.S. market, which is more sparsely populated. The choice for you depends on your individual components for your system. I think everything on this market will offer you the features you need.” Andrew Terry, director, Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Office of Electronic Communications: “With competition, prices are coming down. We are encouraged by other manufacturers participating more … Before competition, pricing was flat. There was no movement in pricing and no introductions. The high-end radios were running $3,500.” Mary Pittman, marketing manager, Motorola U.S. & Canada Group System Marketing, on what the term Project-25-compliant means: “There are a lot of different types of compliantness. Some are mutually exclusive. It is important that users specify exactly what they want.” Dave Helfrich, strategic program manager, APCO 25: “Purchase from multiple vendors, so the prices will go down. Keep doors open, take a look at everybody and keep everybody in business.”
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