There is caution to putting all of the spectrum "eggs" in one basket. While this technical solution may prove to effectively solve interference issues on the portable receivers, it will not eliminate the problem of spectrum limitations limiting many areas around the country. The dilemma is whether or not to proceed (with or without delay) on a parallel course. One very important aspect of the spectrum swap plan is that it increases spectrum available for public safety to the tune of approximately double the existing spectrum.
This also highlights the importance of the HERO Act and simultaneously freeing up spectrum in the 700 MHz band for public safety which has been reintroduced in Congress.
A comprehensive approach may be the best. First, continue on the path to follow through with the spectrum swap plan. Second, aggressively work toward testing and implementation of Motorola's technical solution. Third, aggressively lobby Congress to pass the HERO Act to dedicate new spectrum to public safety.
Charles Werner is Deputy Fire Chief for the Charlottesville, VA FD. He is chair of the IAFC Technology Advisory Group.