Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
MSCommNet overview (PDF)
What Is MSCommNet? (3 minute video):
Windows Media Player or QuickTime script
"Narrowband: Will You Be Ready?" (2-part video) Text Narration
See the 70 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below.
If your question is not covered by one of these FAQs,
Ask a Question of the MSCommNet team.
FAQs by Topic - click on a topic below
System Strategy and Design | Frequencies | Coverage and Towers | RegionNet | Fire | Equipment | Finance | Training | Interoperability | Interoperability with Maine State Police (MSP)
System Strategy and Design:
When will the MSCommNet system be fully operational?
Proprietary: Is MSCommNet a proprietary system?
Alternatives: Did the State consider alternative technologies?
FCC Narrowband deadline: What is the process for relicensing for narrowband and what is the deadline?
Encryption: Will the new system have the capability for channel encryption?
Build out: When the transition to the new system is complete, will transition from the legacy system to the new system move from south to north or in any certain direction?
Corrections sites: Corrections sites are reflected as “campus” sites on maps provided by MSCommNet, what does this mean?
Voice or data: Will the MSCommNet system carry voice only, or will data transmission be possible among sites at some point?
CONOPS and narrowbanding: Would it make business sense to narrow-band three of the six CONOPS frequencies now, so there is not a rush to narrow-band all of them at the end of 2012?
Local frequencies: Will the state “take” frequencies from local partners.
Dispatchers: Because procedures are changing, should the dispatchers be able to monitor all frequencies?
Repeaters: Will repeater sites have one shared frequency or will each agency have a frequency at each site?
Exclusive channels: My state agency has exclusive use of some channels; will this capability continue to exist?
Coverage and Towers:
Changes to state towers: Why is the state constructing, replacing, or upgrading towers?
Number of towers: Is the state building more towers because digital radio has less coverage?
Tower numbers and coverage: If state agencies can “talk” adequately today, will the decrease in the total number of towers in the new system diminish their ability to communicate?
Future coverage map: Does OIT have anticipated coverage maps following the implementation of MSCommNet?
Gaps in coverage: The radio towers for state agencies are being consolidated, but have gaps in coverage for all state agencies been considered in the design of the system?
Car-to-car: Will some of the towers in the northwest be for repeaters or for car-to-car?
Partner use of the system: When the original radio upgrade plan was presented to the legislature, it was indicated that non-State agencies would have access to MSCommNet.
Site access: If a local partner has an agreement for equipment co-location at a tower site, will site/equipment access by local partners/vendors be an issue?
New site leases: How many state sites leased from private landowners that require new leases?
Local impact: What impact will MSCommNet have on our local police/fire departments?
Improved or degraded interoperability: Will local partners lose the ability to communicate among themselves and/or with the State users?
We’ve been interoperating for a long time, so why are we changing?
Analog and digital interoperability: How will local emergency responders with analog or non-trunked radio systems communicate with state emergency responders?
Impact on EMA’s: What is the impact on County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) offices?
Impact on PSAPs: Will MSCommNet have any effect on dispatch/ PSAP (public safety answering point) centers?
Opportunities for private entities: Is there an opportunity for private entities to share the infrastructure of MSCommNet?
Impact on North Maine Woods: For the north Maine woods area, will I have the ability to communicate to my own state organization and also have interoperability with other state organizations?
Reprogramming: Will some of the cooperating agencies outside the MSCommNet system be required to reprogram?
Moving off a state tower: If a county or municipality moved off a state tower are there interoperability concerns?
New radios and other dispatchers: Will a state user with the new state P25 radio be able to communicate with local dispatch centers?
CONOPS and trunking: Will CONOPS channels be trunked?
Talk groups: Will local partners be able to access state talk groups using their local P25 compliant equipment?
Interoperability with Maine State Police (MSP):
Local impact of MSP prime channel trunking: Since the prime dispatch channel for the State Police on the MSCommNet will be trunked, what impact will this have on local partners?
MSP P25 trunking: If I have a VHF P25 system today, can I communicate with Maine State Police P25 system on the new MSCommNet?
Local transmit of LEA to MSP: Will the local law enforcement agency be able to transmit on the Maine State Police frequency?
Local receiving of MSP audio: If a local agency wants to listen to the audio feed from the MSP primary or Department of Conservation primary frequency, will that be possible?
Future of existing frequencies: What will happen to the existing RegionNet frequencies?
New RegionNet frequencies: When new RegionNet frequencies are known will they be communicated to local partners and vendors?
Analog radios and RegionNet: Will my analog narrow-band VHF radio work on RegionNet?
Connecting to RegionNet: How will local partners communicate with the Maine State Police (MSP) through RegionNet?
Number of RegionNets: Because so many agencies interoperate with Maine State Police today, are we creating a difficult communications issue by having a limited number of RegionNets?
800mhz systems: What were the issues with the 800 mhz digital system in southern Maine? I heard lack of distance, lack of penetration in buildings to the point of fire fighters not going into buildings without two radios.
Purchase mandates: Will local partners be forced to buy new portable and/or mobile radios because of the MSCommNet system?
P25 compatibility: Will any manufacturers’ P25 Trunked radio work on the state’s new MSCommNet system?
State advice on P25: Why was there no concern expressed from the state when local organizations procured conventional (non P-25) radios with grant funds?
Replacement of state radios: There are 4536 radios (2739 mobiles and 1797 portables) identified in the state’s enterprise radio inventory. Will MSCommNet replace all these radios?
Choice of models: For state radio users, will there be different types of radio models to choose from, depending on user needs?
Purchase requirements: As a local partner, do I need to buy additional equipment to interoperate with the state MSCommNet system?
Sources of funds: Does the state expect local partners to help pay for the MSCommNet project?
Installation of local equipment on MSCommNet towers. What is the difference between (1) being just an MSCommNet partner/user and (2) a local partner installing local equipment on the states MSCommNet towers?
Co-location rates: How much is it going to cost?
Co-location rate calculation: How will the State's Office of Information Technology (OIT) calculate the cost for local partners to utilize towers for public safety equipment.
Co-location rate differences: Is there going to be a “State” price vs. county and NGO (non-governmental organization), or is it all one pricing?
MSCommNet mandates or costs to local agencies: Are there any mandates or costs imposed by the state to local agencies?
Cost to non-trunked users: If a local or county agency with non-trunked radio wants to interoperate with MSCommNet trunked system, will there be an associated cost?
Cost to trunked users: If a local or county agency with trunked radios wants to interoperate with the MSCommNet trunked system, will there be an associated cost?
State user rates: Will the new MSCommNet system affect the current radio support rates billed to state agencies by OIT’s Radio Services?
Affordability: How can the state afford this project?
Replacement of non-trunked State radios: Will state agencies be required to purchase new P25 compliant radios?
Replacement of trunked State radios: If my existing system at a state agency is trunked, will OIT replace those trunked radios?
Replacement of trunked State radios: If the state already has some P25 radios that are trunking capable, why are these also scheduled for replacement under the contract with the system integrator (Harris Corporation)?
Replacement schedule: Since all the new state radios will be purchased at the same time, is the state setting itself up for failure by having to potentially replace them all at the same time, at the end of their product life cycle?
Replacement schedule: When will the radios be purchased?
Reprogramming costs: Will programming have an effect on cost to state agencies?
Dispatcher training: Should the dispatchers have more training?
Training plans: With interoperability so simple now, is there a concern with training for the new system? Users must be able to use radios quickly and effectively, especially during a “big” event.
User training: Will there be training on the new radios for state users?