``We have no intention of migrating to voice until we're sure those issues that are out there are addressed,'' Waugh said.
The state police also are implementing a $134 million incident information management system, a separate project that transmits over the statewide radio system.
A single statewide radio system was conceived as something that would primarily serve government agencies, but after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, it became more of a priority to allow local emergency responders to hook in, a process called ``interoperability.''
It will be relatively easy to accomplish that in about half of the state's 67 counties. But in more remote areas, and where the existing radio systems are more primitive, switching over will require more funding, said radio project director Don Appleby, in the state's Office of Administration.
Even then, the radio signal won't be strong enough to reach hand-held portable radios commonly used by police officers and firefighters. That level of service requires either signal repeaters _ the state police are installing them inside vehicles _ or more towers.
Lancaster County, one of two Pennsylvania counties to purchase an OpenSky system for 911 use, is spending $35 million on a network of 17 new towers. It isn't expected to be functioning until at least 2006.
The iXP review is looking at the interoperability issue as well as barriers to getting state agencies to fully adopt the radio system. The agencies will need to spend about $54 million to buy radios _ money not included in the $240 million.
``It turns out that agencies haven't been able to support (it) as much as they would like and we would like,'' Appleby said. ``Without going into all the details, this office has been tasked with stepping up to support transition to help agencies make the move.''
A Harrisburg lobbyist for Motorola Inc., which lost the contract to M/A-Com, said he doubts OpenSky will ever work as it is supposed to.
``I defy you to go to any agency and have the two of them talk to each other,'' said the lobbyist, John O'Connell. ``They can't do it. This does not work. It's three years late, it's $200 million over budget and it does not work.''