Digital Can Be a Good Thing

As society gets more complicated and the need for quick delivery of information digital can be a good thing.

Sure digital communications helps by reducing the amount spectrum needing for a single conversation, what about the data flow?  Will that single voice conversation have priority over a data stream?  It may make it challenging on some frequencies that are used.

How many of you have ever heard of High Speed Multi Media (HSMM)?  Did you know that HSMM can provide  High Speed data, video and voice communications and when needed it can provide the means for the "last-mile" connectivity in emergency / disaster situations. 

What about those times that the last-mile is beyond the range of the available HSMM equipment; is there a solution to this problem?  There are several ways to extend coverage, but it may not be as fast as possible on the microwave links yet still usable.  Digital formats via HF Radio can provide some information at a slower rate yet still get the information to the location that needs it.  Someday in the near future it may be possible to deliver high speed data over HF (even dial-up speed 56kbps can be extremely beneficial when sending resource / supply lists). 

Digital can be a good thing, even when there needs to be some limited public access to information in emergency situations.  When it comes to critical information that can save a life and protect property the regulations that we normally are required to go by becomes null when there is no other way to deliver the life saving information.  This applies to every radio communication service; so how do we test these valuable resources during normal conditions?

There are rules within the regulations that allow for limited testing, take the time to discover what steps are required so you can test your communication equipment and become familiar with its capabilities so you will be ready when the situation requires complete readiness.