Recently there was a channel bank in our current analog system that had a failure and had to be disabled. This channel bank is part of the voice simulcast system which pulls frequencies from the trunked system for transmitting. We have a spare board to replace it with, however in order to do so, the system would have to be put into failsoft – essentially that means turning the system off to make the change. As a public safety agency, we do not have the luxury of turning the system off for a repair of this nature. Since 1996 this is the first time one of these boards has failed.
Fortunately, we have plenty of excess capacity to handle all the users and routine radio traffic even with this one channel bank disabled. We believe that the system would have more than enough capacity to handle another major incident like the Champion Bus fire that occurred recently with the multitude of users that were present.
Though we have the capacity to continue uninterrupted operations, it illustrates the importance of replacing this analog system which is showing its age.