Feeds

US police radios killing trees

Lush lawns latest victims of war on crime

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The relaxed attitude to spectrum use in the USA has come under pressure as a new police radio system in Dallas is interfering with an automated sprinkler system 30 miles away, resulting in brown lawns and dead trees in Plano.

The sprinkler system was set up 15 years ago at a cost of $5 million, and covers 1,200 acres of parkland and trees alongside roads, reports the Dallas Morning News. Officials first noticed the problem back in June when the trees started dying, but it's taken them a while to trace the problem to police radios 30 miles away.

Initially they hoped to be able to negotiate the problem, but a deadlock has left them complaining to the FCC in the hope of a mandated solution.

The cites of Cedar Hill, DeSoto and Duncanville have spent $1.3 million installing their new police radio system, which now has enough range to inadvertently tinker with the sprinklers in Plano as well as water-tower monitoring equipment in Coppell.

Coppell has managed to switch frequency at a cost of only $11,000, but Plano reckon saving their trees is going to cost more than that. With 539 controllers spread around the city, they estimate the cost at around a quarter of a million.

Plano admit they're going to have to change their radio frequency - fauna will always trump flora when it comes to spectrum - but want the three cities to suspend their new system until January, or at least ratchet down the broadcast power, to give them a chance to upgrade.

But the Southwest Regional Communications Center, responsible for emergency response in the three cities, is adamant it must have its system online by November, even at the price of a few dead trees - leading to Plano's complaint to the FCC for spectrum infringement. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.