After several months of discussion, over the weekend the principals of KS-DMR unanimously voted to terminate our KS Statewide 3120 feed to Brandmeister. As I hope you all know, our own Cort Buffington, N0MJS wrote the software suite (HBlink) that we use for our independent network. This software allows us to run our own network, without being dependent on the large DMR network operators (MARC, DMR+, Brandmeister). Cort has worked hard, with Brandmeister, to ensure he implemented their network-to-network protocol (OpenBridge) correctly, but because HBlink is open source software, and in widespread use globally, Cort and the Regents of the K0USY Group have no control over how it is implemented by others on their networks. We have had no operational problems with the Brandmeister team.
Recently, Brandmeister made a policy decision to not allow any TGIDs that they consider “exclusive” to Brandmeister to be connected to other network operators (including small regional operators like us). This decision was made due to the number of independent network operators, globally, who have used HBlink and other tools inconsistent with Brandmeister’s rules, often creating operational problems and looping up networks. We had already been in discussion about 3120, but seeing a large network like Brandmeister pull back interconnectivity to some of their TGIDs helped us realize that what we had been considering made good sense.
KS Statewide, TGID 3120 has been in use in KS since the very creation of the TGID scheme that defined geographically scoped talkgroups (ie. 3120 for Kansas). Originally, those Statewides and other geographically scoped TGIDs were not intended to be internetworked and available globally. The intent wasn’t to create global access to a place called Kansas, it was intended to give Kansas a place of it’s own. We never asked for a global network to carry 3120 and make it available to all, it just happened. We struggled back then with the decision: Create unity and have a single 3120, or have multiple 3120s that aren’t connected to each other (KS-DMR and BM). The idea of unity won out, and we provided BM a feed from our statewide network. The hope was that other DMR operators in KS not part of KS-DMR would carry 3120 as their primary talk group until we reached a point with traffic that the state warranted sub-division. This never materialized. Other DMR operators have, generally, immediately established their own primary TGIDs for their groups, and made 3120 available as a linked TGID like any other on the big nets.
We have seen virtually no use of KS Statewide 3120 to interconnect existing KS-based systems. The only real time we see 3120 in use outside of KS-DMR is for hotspot users – which we already provide direct access for without using a big net to connect. To that end, we have decided to return KS Statewide 3120 to it’s original intent – as Kanas’ independent TGID. We will continue to welcome and promote connections to other KS DMR systems with it, and for border states, but will no longer provide a downstream feed to Brandmeister or any other globally-scoped DMR network. -KS-DMR Principals