US Government To Buy Sprint's iDEN Network?

from the lets-see-how-this-plays-out dept

A site called PCS Intel is reporting that the US government plans to buy Sprint’s iDEN network (the Nextel network) in order to overhaul the nation’s security communications, by putting everybody — federal agencies, the military, local authorities and so on — on the same encrypted network. Apparently, in exchange for the iDEN network, Sprint will get carte blanche to reclaim spectrum in the 700 and 800 mHz bands as needed so they can build out a nationwide mobile WiMAX network. Umm… call us skeptical on this one. The site says the announcement should come in 2007 or 2008, with the iDEN network being shut down for public use in 2010, and while there are some sensible things in here (getting first responders and authorities on a common communications network, for starters), it’s hard to see just how the plan would work, and work well. Given the amount of trouble the government has had in setting up inbound emergency calls from cell phones, it’s hard to have much faith they could do a good job of setting up a total communications network on cell phones as well.

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Comments on “US Government To Buy Sprint's iDEN Network?”

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malhombre says:

The real reason?

An article in Time magazine by Amanda Ripley, in the Oct 31, 2005 issue (“How The Coast Guard Gets It Right”) quotes St. Bernard Parrish Sheriff Jack Stephens, responding to GAO representatives who asked him how he would fix FEMA as saying “I would abolish it…I would blow up FEMA and ask the Coast Guard what it needs”.
The point of this is that nearly every effort to centralize and standardize operations by the present administration has been marked by profound failure, deserved criticism, slow response, and bottlenecked infrastructure with many of the on-site responders absolutely frustrated by a lack of empowerment to act in a timely fashion.
I understand, ideally, the possible advantages, but the best intentions from Washington seem to be marred by a “central committee” aspect and micromanagement style that impedes real progress…we have all read the stories of millions spent on empty hotel rooms, volunteers and supplies turned away, people stranded and dying, and wasted time.
Effective crisis management, especially so in time-critical, destructive, life or death situations, comes down to the selection, training, support and facilitation of the right people in the right place at the right time, each of whom can be relied upon to perform necessary and essential tasks not as a result of a reliance on a massive centralized communications infrastructure and command system but because of training and motivation that empower them to act properly when they find themselves in the absolute absence of any but the most limited structure…you know, “An Army Of One” and all that.
The Bush administration has been hoarding together so much centralized power under the umbrellas of emergency response, public safety, and anti-terrorism that one begins to wonder if the Bill of Rights will continue to stand for another 100 years…but no WMD’s, no Bin Laden, a terribly erratic no-fly list, a lingering war (yes, starting to look just like Vietnam, sorry to say), a miserable, stifled, ill-designed FEMA “You’re doing a great job, Brownie!” – no wait, you aren’t. Hah hah, sorry. Misunderstood the central committee report.
The various highly touted acts and measures of this administration are like the old adage about mating elephants, lots of dust and commotion but really not much of any real importance getting done.
But here’s some threats that were narrowly averted:
The Secret Service confiscated a kid’s school project poster in North Carolina because it had a thumbtack poked through a cutout picture of Bush combined with a thumbs-down sign next to it. The assignment, of all things? The Bill of Rights.
Also, “The Onion” has been handed a ceast and desist order to quit using the presidential seal in it’s sarcastic spoofs of the administration.
Can anybody, on the right, left, or in the middle say that they feel that things are going well in DC? I can’t see it from any vantage point. But I see an attempt to centralize yet more resources as doomed to fail.

Anonymous of Course says:

Re: The real reason?

Nice rant, you must watch a lot of television.

FEMA provides training before a disaster and brokers services afterwards. If local agencies don’t participate in the training and guidance that FEMA will provide for the asking, who is to blame?

FEMA does not rescue people, sandbag rivers and levees, or provide emergency services.

Brown was appointed in what year, 2000? There have been a few hurricanes since then and there was no massive problem with FEMA.

Get real, let the responsibility rest where is should, on the residents who did not prepare because the hurricanes always veer off at the last moment (lets party) and those governing the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisana who were overcome by greed and patronage.

It’s a sad fact that the outrage that should be directed at these disciples of Huey Long, where it might actually do some good, was diverted by a possibly misinformed at best or intentionally misleading press. Brown was screwed four ways to Sunday and these jackals get a pass?

You obviously have Internet access, maybe a visit to FEMA’s web site would be educational. Read the mission statement, see how many employees FEMA has nation wide, participate in some of the free on-line training courses. Perhaps even sign up for CERT training when it’s available in your area.

Quit being a B.S. echo chamber.

malhombre says:

Re: Re: The real reason?

Thanks for your opinions…I will visit the FEMA site. I also agree that Gov. Blanco and Mayor Nagin must shoulder a good share of the blame in that particular disaster. And my criticism is of management policies at the top, not those who are in the field.

But, again, are you okay with the status quo?

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