Over 50 years ago, a school bus shop with a 50 watt 2-way radio and a 50 foot tower could talk to a 50 watt bus radio, 50 miles away with an investment of a couple of thousand dollars at the shop and around $500 for each bus. By 2012, it took three repeater stations costing $10,000 or more plus bus radios costing around $1,000 each, plus tower construction or rental on mountain top sites.

This drastic increase in cost, coupled with a reduction in performance was the result of a government requirement called “narrow banding” along with a bi-product of government grant funding known as “interoperability”. The net result is that users now pay more and get less! At the same time, a major manufacturer was developing a model business plan that restricted competition and added monthly user costs. This was called “trunking” which uses proprietary technology and “managed network services” rather than user owned infrastructure (The “phone company” taught us this principle many years ago).

Within just a few short years, the cost of a school bus radio jumped to $2,000 or more with network user fees advancing to over $20 per month per radio! At the same time, GPS tracking was introduced which typically added another $20 per month! Clearly, it was time for something new. That “something” was what many of us now call “Network Radio”.

Somewhere along the way, the industry, and users alike forgot the original purpose of school bus communications, which is to provide a means for administrative personnel to communicate and monitor bus activity to better provide STUDENT SAFETY! The secondary objective is to implement better administrative control for the purpose of reducing OPERATING COST.

In the meantime, many transportation supervisors turned to cell phones with little or no concern for DOT Commercial Driver Standards or the potential for being sued if a driver was involved in an accident while using a cell phone. Clearly, LITIGATION AVOIDANCE PLANNING should now be a major consideration as well as SYSTEM COST MANAGEMENT (i.e. making sure that total cost of ownership over a five year period is in accord with good financial practices).

The good news is that we can address ALL these issues and give you the best solution AND the best price! Want to know how? Call us at 205.854.2611, Email us at ServingU@the-communicators.net, or use the information request form provided. Thanks for visiting. We look forward to serving you!

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success. Henry Ford (1863-1947)

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