Oregon’s $600 million statewide 700 Mhz first responder network may be killed due to state budgetary limitations, reports the Oregonian. A $146 million “plan B” may be substituted in its place. That plan would meet FCC requirements for narrow-band frequencies by 2013 by replacing only some microwave equipment and thousands of radios, instead of essentially building a new 700 MHz network from scratch.
Lawmakers were misled about the cost and progress of an emergency radio network in Oregon, reported Brent Walth in the Oregonian, with a follow on faulty maps used to sell Oregon radio network to lawmakers and a third article on possible alternatives to fix the troubled the Oregon Wireless Interoperability Network (OWIN).
Legislators must approve the new proposal in Kitzhaber’s budget.
Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, said she is angry that state officials pushed the expensive OWIN project as a solution when a scaled-down answer could have met the federal requirements all along.
“It is unconscionable that the Legislature was led to believe that this elaborate system of towers and exorbitant cost was what we needed,” Johnson said.
Gov. John Kitzhaber’s proposed budget calls for putting the $600 million Oregon Wireless Interoperability Network on ice for the next two years, reports the Oregonian. Doing so would make it very difficult — if not impossible — to restart the mammoth project, already politically damaged and years behind schedule.
Oregon is not the only state to find that building a dedicated, 700 MHz public safety network is wrought with hidden dangers.
The Bay Area 700 MHz public safety Net was in an altercation over jusidictional disputes over funding and deployment of the 700 MHz LTE wireless broadband network for first responders in the region. The State of New York canceled their statewide 700 MHz network after costs ballooned from $1 Billion to over $2 Billion and coverage proved spotty. It was the largest technology contract in NY state history, as was Oregon’s $600 Million, 700MHz network.
Multiply that times 50.
The White House has endorsed a plan to give public safety users $3 billion in 700 MHz spectrum to build a dedicated 700 MHz network that could cost as much as $15 billion to build, reports the Wall Street Journal.
White House officials are also expected to ask Congress to set aside billions of dollars to build the new broadband public-safety network. It would allow police and firemen to share video and other data during emergencies.
The White House plan opposes the FCC plan, explains the Washington Post. Instead of sharing the 700 MHz “D Block” with consumers, the spectrum would be taken off the market. First responders would be given the 10 MHz “D Block” and taxpayers – not commercial providers – would build the first responder network.
The FCC’s plan — supported by the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission — “will ensure the build-out of a network that is cutting edge, reliable, and cost-effective,” FCC spokesman Rob Kenny said. It would auction off the 10 MHz “D Block”, but allow public service agencies to use the commercial frequencies.
The FCC says their plan (above) lowers cost and increases broadband penetration for everyone. First responders would have “priority access” to all the 700 MHz commercial frequencies anytime they need it. The FCC wants the 10 MHz (D block) chunk shared by public service and commercial users. Taxpayers don’t need to fund all the construction costs of a dedicated, multi-billion dollar public safety network if commercial providers help build it, say promoters of the FCC plan.
Related Dailywireless articles include; White House: D-Block to Police/Fire, State of the Spectrum, Oregon’s Radio Network Under Fire , Oregon’s Public Service Network: $100M Over Budget, Bay Area 700 MHz Net in Altercation , FCC: Interoperability on 700 MHz Band, Battle for Oregon’s State-wide Radio Net, Oregon’s $500 Million Statewide Wireless Network, Riot in D Block, AT&T: 80% Upgraded to HSPA+ , SkyTerra 1 Launched , Why Cops Don’t Just Use Cell Phones, SF Announces LTE First Responder Net, LightSquared + SK Telecom, The 700MHz Network: Who Pays?, Public Safety Spectrum Grab, Public Safety: Show Us The Money, SF Announces LTE First Responder Net, Clearwire to Test LTE, Apps for the City, LightSquared: 5K Basestations by 2011, Phoney Spectrum Scarcity, D-Block: It’s Done; Congress Pays, The 700MHz Network: Who Pays?, Big Bucks for 700 MHz Public Safety, FCC: Stop Complaining about Interoperability, Police & Fire: No Broadband for You, Commentary: Future of Public Safety Communications, New York Cancels Statewide Wireless Network, New York’s $2B Statewide Network Close to Canceling, M/A-COM to NY: We’re Good, NY Gives Tyco 45 days to Fix Network, Battle for Oregon’s State-wide Radio Net, Twitter 911, FCC Okays 21 Public Service Nets, FCC: Stop Complaining about Interoperability, Police & Fire: No Broadband for You, The 700MHz Network: Who Pays?, The National Broadband Plan, National Broadband Plan Previewed, D-Block: It’s Done; Congress Pays, AT&T/TerreStar Ready Satphone Service, TerreStar Phones Home, Motorola + SkyTerra Team for 700 MHz/Sat Radios, Alvarion, Open Range To Build 17 State Net, San Diego State: Wildfire GIS to Go, Emergency Mapping, Cascadia Peril, Commentary: Future of Public Safety Communications, New York Cancels Statewide Wireless Network, New York’s $2B Statewide Network Close to Canceling, M/A-COM to NY: We’re Good, NY Gives Tyco 45 days to Fix Network, .