Thursday, December 11, 2008

Philadelphia - "Can You Hear Me Now?"

The C.S.A.
Connecticut Survivalist Alliance

The city of Philadelphia will most likely have to pay an estimated $40 million to upgrade,
or $80 million to to replace the entire radio system for the city.

The 800-megahertz digital radio system, which has cost the city about $62
million to install and maintain,
is no longer manufactured by Motorola and replacement components may no longer
be available.

The city could decide to scrap the Motorola system and go with something else.
But that process could take "a minimum" of five years to accomplish.

A series of human errors caused a 40-minute failure in the city's police radio
system July 22, 2008,
according to a report submitted yesterday to City Council by the Nutter administration.

The report, written by Frank Punzo, the city's deputy commissioner of public
property, said on the night of July 22, 2008 the radio system became overloaded and
switched -- as it was designed to do -- from one controller to another.

Earlier that day, Motorola had conducted routine maintenance on the controller.
A technician, however, had not entered the correct settings for the component.

"As a result, when the secondary controller was required to function, it failed
to do so.
In the span of 40 minutes, a technician corrected the settings and the system
returned to operation.

The report says the police dispatch center was still able to communicate with
officers on the street using backup modes.
But dispatchers were not skilled in how to use the backup equipment.

The report says corrective steps include:

Revising maintenance procedures.

Training and testing dispatchers to be completely familiar with backup

Improving the performance of Motorola's technical staff.

Placing replacement controllers on standby to avoid delays in service.

The report said the radio system, installed in 2002, is already outdated.

The current maintenance agreement with Motorola expires in June 2010.

The city is considering an extension, but "it does not appear to be the most
desirable option," the report says.

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