The fact that everyone wants to be a leader in homeland security communications interoperability can sometimes hinder the very goal that is being pursued. In addition the State's dual-pronged, IP-based mobile data network project, several other projects are under development that should be coordinated. According to a report from PSWINS, the US Forest Servce with support of Network Integration & Consulting Services is developing a system that "provides essentially 'universal' interoperability among radio sites and dispatch consoles, and thus field radio users." The solution is titled "Radio Control over IP (RCoIP)." It claims to cross organizational and geographic boundaries. The operational diagram shows connectivity to the forest service WAN, BLM district WANS, and the state WAN.
Another solution is being used in Carbon County. This mobile data solution is provided by Alvarion and is now operational for local police use in the area. It is described as a rugged mobile data radio designed for the rigors of field use. It features Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology to increase network security, overcome interference from other wireless devices, and prevent eavesdropping.
As I have mentioned before, the state solution includes RF and 802.11 hotspot components to provide statewide access to the WAN / internet. It has been coordinated with a large number of state, local and federal agencies. A pilot of the RF mobile data solution is now an active pilot in Cache County and users seem to be happy with the results thus far. 802.11 hotspots are already being rolled out in many locations. ITS personnel have done a site survey of the Park City area and are far along in a Tooele County implementation. It appears that the next area to be rolled out will be in Millard County.
Macom has developed an IP-based interoperability solution that will be traveling the country. Their demonstration will be in Utah on March 19-20.
Right after the end of the legislative session, I will be trying to put together a more comprehensive wireless interoperability council that can address a variety of these issues, along with management and use of 700 MHz spectrum.