Beleaguered radio system wins praise

10th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

10 December 2004 , AMSTERDAM — A new multi-billion euro, but highly problematic, digital communication system to be used by emergency services in the Netherlands has finally won some praise.

10 December 2004

AMSTERDAM — A new multi-billion euro, but highly problematic, digital communication system to be used by emergency services in the Netherlands has finally won some praise.

Police, emergency services and municipal councils in Limburg South are very happy with the performance of the C2000 system, the Regional Safety Board in Heerlen said on Friday.

The south of Limburg was the first region to test the new system, which is designed to better co-ordinate the operations of emergency services.

The trial period in the region has now ended and Kerkrade Mayor Jos Som said the C2000 system functioned well and is a big improvement on the aged analogue system. It had also used to get help quickly to a large number of sick children, he said.

Som said the initial problems with the C2000 system had received disproportional amount of publicity.  But he also accused Interior Minister Johan Remkes of unveiling the new system with exaggerated promises while there were still some teething problems to be sorted out.

These problems include the system's poor range when emergency services officers enter a building and the fact there is a complete lack of range when officers cross the border, news agency ANP reported.

It had previously been reported that criminals could also keep tabs on the police who use the C2000 by purchasing a commercially available scanner. This would allow them to pinpoint the location of police.

Maastricht Mayor Gerd Leers said there were a lot of problems in the areas of safety, reliability and financial affordability. Nevertheless, both Leers and Som said progress had been made and that problems would always be encountered in a trial.

The police region Limburg North partially started using the C2000 system earlier this week. The system is now being used in 14 of the Netherlands' 24 police regions.

The C2000 system is designed to allow police officers, the fire services and ambulance personnel to communicate directly with each other. Currently, personnel can only talk to their own service. The development of the C2000 is years overdue and significantly over budget.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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