The has an article about problems that a police agency is experiencing with their new digital radio system.

 As a Janesville police officer grappled with a suspect in the city’s Fourth Ward, he radioed in for backup.

No reply.

The incident, which happened Sept. 13, was just six blocks from one of the department’s digital radio receiver sites. It’s an alarming example of the problems that Rock County’s new digital radio system has had since it went online in June.

The problems include completely locked up radio receiver sites, spotty reception in the fringes of the county and calls that get cut off in the field—or never make it to dispatch, officials said.

Technicians from three digital radio vendors and officials at the Rock County 911 Center are scrambling to iron out the kinks in the $1.9 million radio system. Yet some local police and fire agencies say they’re losing patience with the problems.

Some agencies, such as the Janesville Police Department, for weeks have toggled back and forth between digital transmissions to analog to try to keep a signal. Others, according to Milton Fire Chief Loren Lippincott, have relied on personal cell phones during digital radio logjams.

The county switched to all-digital radio communications to prepare for a federally mandated narrow banding of analog radio, which will take effect Jan. 1. The switch to digital was intended to maintain the same level of radio capability for countywide agencies when analog frequencies are curtailed.

… That has led to garbled calls and transmissions being dropped between officers and smaller digital receiver sites around the county, she said. Those problems have left Janesville police and other agencies “more comfortable” using their old analog radio systems.

Testing is in early stages, but to expand and improve radio coverage, the county might have to install new digital receiver sites and, despite the potential cost, new towers, Sukus said.

The entire article can be found HERE.

thanks Chris