Radio interoperability costs reach $7 billion for states

Published 6 December 2006

High prices deter states and municipalities from moving forward; depressed federal spending certainly does not help; $1.5 billion needed just to upgrade state operations centers

Radio interoperability remains at the top of the list of challenges faced by state and municipal emergency responders, and it is cost, not technology, that is preventing widespread adoption. A new survey by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) estimates that, all told, states will have to spend a total of $7 billion to achieve interoperability, including: $1.5 billion to build, retrofit and upgrade emergency operations centers nationwide; $400 million for urgent improvements to state operations centers; and $1.1 billion for local operations centers. One major problem: A $287 million shortfall in the Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) program, the only federal funding available to state and local governments for all-hazards planning, training and exercises.

-read more in this Washington Technology report