Briefs: FCC seeks comment on NYC’s narrowbanding waiver request
The FCC is seeking comment on the waiver request filed by the city of New York on June 13 regarding the commission's Jan. 1, 2013, narrowbanding deadline. The filing was made on behalf of the NYPD, the FDNY, the city's department of corrections and its department of environmental protection, as well as the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT). The city is asking that the narrowbanding deadline be extended for select NYPD and FDNY call signs—those that are “closely interwoven” with T Band operations—to two years after competitive bidding for T Band re-use is completed. For the other departments, the city is seeking a deadline extension for select call signs to Dec. 31, 1014. Click here to read the FCC's notice, which lists all of the affected call signs.
In other news:
The Federal Railroad Administration recently reported to Congress that the majority of railroad systems will not be able to meet the Dec. 31, 2015 deadline to implement positive train control (PTC) systems, as mandated by the Rail Safety and Improvement Act of 2008. The FRA recommended that should Congress consider extending the deadline, it also should allow provisional use of partially deployed systems, under controlled conditions, and that railroads be allowed to use alternative safety systems in lieu of PTC in low-risk areas. PTC systems monitor the location of trains to ensure that they are traveling on safe railways and to prevent them from colliding. Click here to read the entire FRA report.
Cassidian Communications announced that its Sentinel Patriot IP-based call-processing system enabled the James City County (Va.) Emergency Communications Center to virtually maintain its operations after a severe thunderstorm knocked out commercial power and the center's long-term backup system also failed. Calls were routed seamlessly to the neighboring York-Poquoson-Williamsburg ECC. Both centers were upgraded to the Sentinel Patriot system in May.
Avtec announced that the Minneapolis branch of the American Automobile Association has deployed the company's Scout dispatching console. The branch employs 18 dispatchers who work on a rotating basis, and fields more than 200,000 road-assistance calls each year, Avtec said.