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Frequently Asked Questions


What is CCNC, Inc.? 

CCNC is the Consolidated Communications Network of Colorado, Inc., a non-profit organization made up of participating user agencies using the Colorado Digital Trunked Radio (DTR) System.  It is a partnership between local, county, state, federal and tribal agencies across the State of Colorado.  CCNC is the governing body of the DTR system.


What is the Colorado Digital Trunked Radio (DTR) System?

The Colorado Digital Trunked Radio (DTR) System is the radio backbone or infrastructure, made up of interconnected equipment owned by various user agencies. It is a standards based (APCO Project 25 compliant) digital radio network.


 Doesn’t the State of Colorado own and operate the DTR?

The State of Colorado is a partner along with other agencies. The State of Colorado does own and operate portions of the system, but not the entire system.


Isn’t DTR the State’s system?

DTR is the statewide, not the state system.


What is the process to become a member?

First, you must be qualified to become a member. Membership is open to any law enforcement, fire school, city, county, state, tribal, federal or other agency able to meet FCC Regulation 90.20.

CCNC has prepared a document entitled Application Process, which any potential applicant should review before making application.  This document gives an overview of the application process.


I am a private company can I use the system?

Private companies may be considered to use the system.

  • They must be contracted to perform services for a governmental agency approved to use the system.
  • The private company must be sponsored by the governmental agency.
  • The private company must be conducting business pursuant to the contracted services with the governmental agency.
  • Private companies may not have talkgroups on the system to conduct their day-to-day business, not associated with their contracted services.

Are there any fees to be a member?

Begining with fiscal year 2012, CCNC will be assessing a $100.00 per AGENCY Member fee.

This fee is to help maintain an operational budget to help offset expenses. CCNC does not charge a per user (radio) fee.  Some programming entities do charge a fee for their user agencies.  Any agency wishing to become a member needs to check on any fees that may be associated with their joining as well as be aware that future fees may be implemented by CCNC. The fees implemented by CCNC would be used for maintaining the system and other operating costs.


What is a talkgroup?

A talkgroup is the term used to describe a subgroup of radios in a trunking system. At times, talkgroup is used synonymously with channel.


How many talkgroups can I have?

Each application is reviewed for impact on the system.  Normally, an agency receives a one-for-one equivalent of talkgroups to what they are using on other system(s).  As an example, Agency A has 5 channels that they are licensed for or authorized to use for the agencies day-to-day operations.  They would receive 5 talkgroups on the DTR system.  Any additional talkgroups will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


I submitted my application, why is it taking so long?

There could be several reasons for a delay in processing an application.  Here are just a few reasons:

  • Incomplete application
    • Missing signatures
    • Additional information needed from applicant
  • No participation agreement received with the application
  • Site loading issues are being reviewed for system impact
  • Application received after the 20th of the month, which is the application deadline for the next scheduled Technical Committee meeting (normally the first Friday of every month).
  • Lack of quorum to vote on application

What is a subscriber?

A subscriber, or subscriber unit, is a piece of radio equipment that has a unique identification number on the DTR system.  A subscriber will belong to a User Agency.  A User Agency is an agency that has made application and been accepted to operate subscriber units on the system.


What is a template?

A template, better know as a programming template, is the basic layout of how the subscriber radio will be programmed.  The template is based upon the Make, Model and Manufacturer of the radio equipment you want to use.  It is also based upon what your agency and your users need to use in a radio.

Templates can be specific to group of users or even the model of radio.  A template for a law enforcement user may be different that that of a fire user.  A template for a radio that can have 48 channels will be different than one that can have 256 channels.


How do I build a programming template?

One of the first things to do is to perform an operational assessment.  An operational assessment basically means:

  • What equipment do I have (type of radio; make and model of radio)?
  • What talkgroups do I have?
  • Who do I need to communicate with;
    • Daily
    • In a crisis
    • Periodically
    • In other regions
  • What talkgroups will I use the most?
  • What talkgroups am I required to have by CCNC P&P?
  • Have I received authorization to use someone else’s talkgroups?
    • You need to have authorization in writing to program another agencies talkgroup(s) into your radios.
    • It is also the authorizing agency’s responsibility to make sure their talkgroups are being used properly and to rescind any authorization.
  • What do I really need?
  • How easy is it for users to get to the talkgroups that they will be using?
  • Do I want my radio to be able to send an emergency signal?
  • How do I want that signal to work and where should it be monitored?

These are just some of the questions to ask yourself.  You may think of others.

The next thing to do is to design the template in a spreadsheet program.  This allows for a visual look at the layout.

You may want to solicit input from your user base after it is designed and before the radios are programmed.


What are MAC Channels and how do I use them?

MAC Channels are Mutual Aid Channels.  There are four set aside in each of the five regions.  MAC Channels are primarily designed for use between agencies that do not have a common talkgroup that they can go to communicate with each other.  Guidelines for their use are included in the CCNC Policy and Procedure that user agencies need to be familiar with.

 

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