Posts Tagged Chicago lacks technicians to complete narrow banding on schedule

Chicago receives extension for narrowbanding

The following is from an article from the Radio ResourceMedia Group:

FCC Grants Narrowbanding Extensions to NYC, Chicago and Philly (12/27/12)
The FCC granted the VHF and UHF narrowbanding waiver requests of three of the nation’s largest cities, just days before the Jan. 1, 2013, deadline.

New York City received separate extension dates for two different components of its radio communications system. The main portion of the UHF system used by the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) and the New York Police Department (NYPD) operates on frequencies in the UHF T-band, for which the Jan. 1, 2013, narrowbanding deadline was waived earlier this year. The city also received a waiver for additional non-T-band channels that are operationally integrated with the T-band systems.

New York received separate waivers for certain other systems used by FDNY, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Corrections (DOC) that are not integrated with the city’s T-band systems. DEP received an extension until May 1, 2013. FDNY and DOC received a waiver until Dec. 31, 2014.

New York filed the waiver request in June, and the FCC sought comment in August.

Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, received an extension of the narrowbanding deadline up to and including Jan. 1, 2015. The city has completed narrowbanding for some systems but requests more time for other networks and has prepared budgets and timelines to complete the work.

Philadelphia, the fifth-largest U.S. city, received an extension through Feb. 1, 2014. City officials had requested a deadline of July 1, 2014. Philadelphia filed its waiver request in September.

The article can be found HERE.

thanks Chris

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Chicago preparing for digital changeover

Chris Ranck found an article which looks at one aspect of the upcoming digital radio changes coming to Chicago.

Chicago Has Few Techs, Wants Narrowband Waiver

The third-largest city in the United States has just 16 radio technicians to install and maintain all of its radio systems, and now the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is asking for public comment on Chicago’s request for 24 more months to narrowband its VHF and UHF radio systems. The FCC received the city’s waiver request (pdf) last May, and now wants input from others, “whose operations could be impacted by the grant of the waiver.” In its 31-page waiver request, Chicago officials noted the city’s size and population, number of visitors and its key commerce and industry role. The city employs 13,000 police officers, 4,500 firefighters and 650 paramedics to provide emergency services. The waiver request notes the various systems and narrowband upgrades the city has already performed: citywide police use a seven-site UHF system (14 new transmitters); “zone” police use a 13-site UHF system (26 new transmitters); and the fire department uses a 16-site system (32 new transmitters). The city has already purchased 15,000 new narrowband radios, the waiver states, and a T-band UHF narrowband network for the fire department is almost complete. “Yet, despite its considerable effort and significant investment to date, Chicago recognizes that it lacks the necessary manpower and resources to finalize the completion of the narrowbanding of all of its VHF/UHF facilities by January 1, 2013,” the waiver says. The city cites “numerous demands on its limited number of radio technicians and the additional burdens on the city’s budget and financial restraints” for not narrowbanding within the Jan. 1, 2013 deadline. Download (pdf) the FCC’s comment request here.

The article can be found HERE, and the full story HERE.

thanks Chris

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