UPDATE - TALK GROUP RESTRUCTURE
The attached is the proposal that was distributed to the Repeater Keepers earlier this week.
PROPOSAL FOR REORGANISATION OF UK REGIONAL TALKGROUPS
As most of you will know, we have been making various mutterings for many months now regarding the need to reorganise the current “TG8” regional talk group structure. To a great extent, this has been a victim of its own success, but it has shortcomings – some of which we have attempted to paper over with the invention and implementation of the “direct dial” talk groups. With the rapid (and continuing) expansion of the network it is time for a fresh look at what we might do going forwards; this paper is intended to be the cornerstone of an open discussion regarding how the regional talk groups would be best organised . This is NOT a “done deal”, nor a fait accompli. Please feel free to share thoughts and observations and to ask questions.
ISSUES TO ADDRESS
There are currently multiple instances of “TG8” which are not identical. In some instances this causes user confusion; of greater importance, it places technical constraints on the way our bridges are programmed. This reduces our flexibility and agility, and limits our opportunity to optimise the use of network resources.
At least one instance of “TG8” is currently larger than reasonable or rational (SE region) and this needs to be pruned sooner rather than later.
Other than by way of “direct dial” or the use of TG235 there is no ready mechanism for a user in (say) Dartford to speak with a user in (say) Preston. DD is sub-optimal since it would not be apparent which of the repeaters serving Preston the user may be within range of. TG235 is less than ideal, since it consumes much more repeater / network resource.
At a high level, the following changes are proposed;-
Creation of ten regional TGs to replace existing four “TG8” groups
Creation of new talk groups (TG8 SE split into two, new TGs for SW, Midlands, East)
Renumbering of existing “mini TGs” to better align with the new regional structure
Creation of two “UK Wide” User Activated TGs
Each repeater assigned to a “home” regional TG which is “always on”
Each repeater able to access other regional TGs on a User Activated basis
Removal of the direct dial TGs – the proposed changes should make these superfluous
INITIAL DRAFT “2016” STRUCTURE
When reviewing this, please bear in mind that this is an initial stab at how we might go about it. There is no assertion that this is the final solution; it needs to be reviewed and commented upon by the repeater keepers, adjustments may need to be made and consensus needs to be reached before implementation. THE GEOGRAPHIES AND REPEATER COLLECTIONS PRESENTED HERE ARE NOMINAL AND WILL BE SUBJECT TO INPUT FROM REPEATER KEEPERS. ALL OF THESE TGs ARE FOR TS2
TG8SE END OF LIFE – WILL BE DELETED FROM BRIDGE CONFIG 31st JAN 2016
TG800 RESERVED FOR FUTURE USE
TG801 METRO EAST: (roughly Hertfordshire / East London / Essex / Kent) GB7AK / GB7AS / GB7CK / GB7EK / GB7EX / GB7IK / GB7LO / GB7SE
TG802 METRO WEST: (roughly Central & West London / Surrey / Sussex) GB7EP / GB7GF / GB7HR / GB7ID / GB7MP / GB7NS / GB7SC
TG810 THAMES VALLEY, BRISTOL CHANNEL AND SOLENT: GB7AV / GB7BK / GB7CT / GB7WL / GB7KM / GB7SU / GB3WE
TG820 NORTH WEST: GB7BR / GB7CA / GB7EL / GB7HM / GB7LP / GB7MB / GB7MR / GB7PN
TG830 MIDLANDS: GB7FW / GB7GB
TG840 EAST OF ENGLAND: GB7CT / GB7DS / GB7FU / GB7LN / GB7MK / GB7PE
TG850 SCOTLAND: GB7DD / GB7EE
TG860 NORTH EAST: GB7HS / GB7HX / GB7LE / GB7SR / GB7TD / GB7TP / GB7XX
TG870 WALES & MARCHES: GB7HM / GB7PN
TG880 NORTHERN IRELAND: (No repeaters at this time)
NOTE: GB7HM and GB7PN intentionally included in both TG820 and TG870
NOTE: GB7CT intentionally included in both TG810 and TG840
OTHER TALK GROUP CHANGES AND ADDITIONS
TG80 NEW USER ACTIVATED “UK WIDE” TG A
TG81 NEW USER ACTIVATED “UK WIDE” TG B
TG803 REPLACES TG2352
TG861 REPLACES TG2350
TG863 REPLACES TG2351
TG864 REPLACES TG2353
Let us discuss and finesse this proposal until it can be made to work for the UK. It is generated by a genuine need to change the way things are working for TG8 at the moment.
We need to stop having multiple objects in the bridge which are “TG8” but not the same TG8. There will come a time when our bridge will not support such configurations, and it is much better we get that out in the open and deal with it now, rather than when we are at a crisis point.
TG8SE is too big. WAY TOO BIG. Looking at the way it is utilised, it does not need to be that shape and size, and better use can be made of our repeater and network resources by splitting it up (there are now as many repeaters in TG8SE alone as there were in the whole country 18 months ago!).
Because there is no easy (and easy to understand) way to have a contact with broader territories when required we see that TG235 is used. It is considered that providing the ability to connect a single repeater to any of the regional TGs on a User Activated basis, coupled with the provision of two “UK Wide” User Activated TGs will reduce the unnecessary utilisation of repeaters when such contacts are desired.
Please note that this will ALWAYS be an “opt-out” capability for individual repeaters; all that will be required will be for the Keeper to make his wishes known to the bridge admins (firstname.lastname@example.org