Nebraska Statewide Radio System . Office of Chief Information Officer Public Safety Communications. Building a Statewide Communication System, Partnerships, AND Interoperability from the ground up. State of Nebraska Office of the Chief Information Officer Public Safety Team.
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Statewide Radio System
Office of Chief Information Officer
Public Safety Communications
State of Nebraska
Office of the Chief Information Officer
Public Safety Team
How We Accomplished…
It takes a cast of many to accomplish a successful system. It’s a big task to maintain focus and stick to the project scope. There can only be a few leaders.
Implementing a communication system of any size is a large undertaking!
Define the purpose and get political support:
It’s not too difficult to understand the need.
Set realistic objectives:
This gets a little trickier.
What are the stated objectives and project scope?
Know your cost factors:
RFP in 2007
Contract award to Motorola in 2008
State and public power owned, managed, and maintained
(the partnership started coming together during the RFP requirements)
Green light! Funded and ready to go…now what?
Building a plan:
Hiring a consultant - Consultants are for advising, not deciding.
You need a clear idea about your system, who the system will serve, a realistic scope, cost, timeline, and adjusting to unexpected change.
Gathering the participants and relevant information:
Participation by the user agencies
Framing the RFP requirements
Using your consultant’s input
Coordinating with your purchasing agency
Project Management: Working with multiple Project Managers (Motorola, State, NPPD)
The Customer’s objective – a successful system and successful users
The Vendor’s objective – win the contract, install the system, and get paid
RULE #1: These objectives are NOT the same!
(Although both want a successful outcome.)
We divided ours and the vendor’s responsibilities and learned to coordinate.
Business process ensures invoicing and payments are tracked.
Technical process ensures implementation goes as planned and delays can be minimized.
Joint PM ensures deliverables are met on both sides.
We managed two project timelines to track progress and anticipate work flows.
How we managed the process:
Division of responsibilities and deliverables
Avoiding the Blame Game
Dealing with Conflicts, Negative media attention and the Politics.
Coverage testing and the so-called “coverage guarantee.”
Towers, network, frequencies, and system acceptance.
There is no one way to do a system, but there are many common issues with all systems.
Project closeout and tying up the loose ends
Interest by NPPD, the state’s largest public power utility in joining the state project. They needed a new radio system too.
Interest by the state OCIO in partnering to share the cost, ownership, management, and maintenance of the system.
Joining the state Office of the Chief Information Officer public safety team and Nebraska Public Power District telecommunication team to integrate system management.
How we Manage the System:
System Operating Group – Director level decisions
System Administrative Group – System policy and operating decisions
System User Group – User agency representation
Partnerships are a lot of work but they work!
The System User Group involves decision makers who understand their agency communications operations.
System User Group is an education forum and to discuss any issues deemed important by the users.
Everyone takes responsibility for the issues under their control.
No one gets to blame the process or the system or what is outside their control.
Accountability for each agency’s responsibilities ensures everyone is getting the correct information.
Problems are openly acknowledged and discussed.
Solving problems takes understanding the process, and everyone understanding that it takes commitment, time and money.
OCIO and NPPD have joint ownership and maintenance
System Operating Group (SOG):
State Chief Information Officer and NPPD Telecom Admin
System Administrative Group (SAG):
OCIO Public Safety and NPPD Telecom
System User Group (SUG):
All agencies using the system (local, state, federal)
Establish a Project leader and Coordinator.
Hire assistanceto advise while forming the process.
There is no one system that fits everyone. You have to decide a starting point, stick to your plan.
Develop processes for policies and to continually improve the system and management.
Training and education for the users and dispatchers is hugely important.
The system is dispatch oriented.
Training the users and dispatchers is THE biggest issue for success in any communication system.
Sharing a system successfully lays the groundwork for creating other partnerships.
How we are creating partnerships in the system
Joint infrastructure ownership, management, and maintenance
User Group of user representation
Federal spectrum sharing
Local access to the system
Opportunities for investment in the system that meets user needs while growing participation in the system
System sharing is what it’s about
Evolving talk group planning
Established subscriber unit planning
Cost modeling…create a recipe for success attractive to adding new partners
It’s more than creating a fee, it’s a creating a sustainable support plan, and the flexibility to consider what partners may be able to contribute
Maintenance of towers, generators, sites, network is all shared between state and NPPD
Optimistic Coverage Map
Pessimistic Coverage Map
Slightly Pessimistic Coverage Map
Noise value or budget to set coverage expectation.
Creating a fleet map structure and shared talk groups
Training and ongoing support for all users and dispatchers
Dispatcher and user input
Education on radio features
Operational policies and field practice
System statistics on user operation
Education on system sharing between agencies
Fleet map revisions and ongoing subscriber planning
Purchase dispatch consoles & network connection
Purchase user radios
User equipment installation and programming
Service Agreement with state OCIO
Maintenance/repair/replacement dispatch consoles and radio equipment (radio service shop)
Apply software patches/updates (radio service shop)
Console network connection recurring fees (network provider)
Interoperability is about having a plan that fits people.
Start realistic, and simple is best.
Don’t underestimate the time and training involved.
1. Creating a plan for interoperability before testing it with the users and dispatchers.
2. NOT taking into account user and dispatcher feedback.
“Interoperability without testing and training is a myth.”
The “ROC” talk group plan
Shared talk groups
Regional Operations Common “ROC” talk groups.
National interoperability frequencies “VTAC” “UTAC” 8TAC”…
Working with multiple manufacturers to test their radios
Don’t just go buy a bunch of radios before talking with the OCIO about your intentions!!!
“ROC” Talk Groups
Regional Operations Common
(Based on Patrol troop areas)
H ROC CALL
B ROC CALL
E ROC Call
ROC talk groups at local dispatch console
(In Patrol consoles and state radios also)