Dutch Fire Department Ditches C2000

c2000logoC2000, once hailed as the state-of-the-art solution in the field of digital (and encrypted) communication, is being ditched by the Dutch Fire Department.

The system proved to be unreliable in such a way that the safety of both firemen and civilians couldn’t be guaranteed. Instead the Dutch Fire Department will revert to analog communication instead, according to newspaper De Telegraaf (link, in Dutch)

Ditching C2000 is a very sensitive matter, especially political. Until now the Dutch government has turned its head when confronted with technical problems and ever increasing costs.

In the USA digital systems were dumped on numerous occasions in favor for an analog system. The best known example is Desert Sky, a localized version of the OpenSky system, once used by the Las Vegas Police Department. The reliability of the system was such that one police officer told a journalist that two tin cans and string might work better.

Admitting failure isn’t really in Dutch politician’s genes, so I’m pretty sure that they will blame anything, anybody and everything. C2000 is here to stay.

3 comments on “Dutch Fire Department Ditches C2000

  1. The TETRA-Communications for German firedepartments, police and emergency services were also advertised as “safe” and “secure” and “reliable”. They build it up since years and it still does not work.

    It hasn’t arrived at Firedepartments and Emergency Units yet. And the police switches between analog radio and private cellphones, every time when the TETRA services stop working – which is often the case.

    Yet, politicians will hold onto the new system. These people can’t admit, that they screwed it up. The lobby of vendors has won again and the politicians burned lots of public money. Sad …

    BTW: The mobile Red Cross Emercency around here used to work with long outdated but still functioning Apple Newton-Devices. Now they switched to iPads for sending reports and anamnesis/case histories directly to the hospital. The guys there say governmental TETRA is too expensive and unreliable.

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