Tuesday, March 25, 2008

DHS Office of Inspector General - Annual Review of the Coast Guard The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General (OIG) states in its annual review of the Coast Guard that Rescue 21, the agency's new system for command, control, and communications (C3), "has been plagued by delays, technical problems, cost escalation, and a delay in full implementation, which has slipped by five years."

According to the Coast Guard project page, Rescue 21 "will provide an updated, leading-edge ...(VHF-FM) communications system, replacing the National Distress Response System installed and deployed during the 1970s. Rescue 21 will cover more than 95,000 miles of coastline, navigable rivers and waterways in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and Puerto Rico. ...

"Rescue 21 will replace a wide range of aging, obsolete radio communications equipment to include:

* Consoles at Coast Guard Sectors and Stations.
* All remote transceiver sites (antenna towers), as well as the network connecting them to the facilities above."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

FCC Asked to Probe Auction - washingtonpost.com: "The failure of a Federal Communications Commission auction to draw sufficient bids to build a wireless network for emergency responders provoked sharp criticism by members of Congress, consumer groups and leaders of the 9/11 Commission yesterday. It also prompted a call to investigate whether auction rules were broken.

Nine organizations, including the Consumer Federation of America and Consumers Union, wrote to FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, saying the FCC should 'investigate carefully the allegations' that representatives of the nation's police, fire and emergency officials undermined the auction. They cited reports that public-safety representatives demanded that any winner of the auction make additional payments to them."