Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Yakima County WiFi for Public Safety: SeattleWireless TV has a lengthy segment in its December 2003 show on how Yakima County (WA) is using WiFi (802.11b) for law enforcement data networking. It's after the segment on a New Zealand wireless treasure hunt. Use the Media Player or RealPlayer links to watch.

NCIC/NLETS through a Spillman system to the state, local applications, and Internet access are in use. VPN and 128-bit WEP helps provide security. Frequency management and a rising WiFi "noise floor" are challenges. Coordination with other government and private users of the spectrum has been key. Replacement of CDPD and Frame Relay backbone has resulted in ongoing savings.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Study Points Out Radio Interoperability Problems: (7/22/2002) "Arlington County's response to the Sept. 11 attacks on the Pentagon was successful in spite of big communications problems, says a new independent study commissioned by the county."
Police call for remote button to stop cars: "After speed cameras, road humps and mobile phone bans, there could be more bad news for Britain's motorists. Police are urging Ministers to give them the power to stop vehicles by remote control."
DHS Grant Announcement (11/13/2003): "The Department of Homeland Security is pleased to announce an additional $725 million dollars from the FY '04 Budget for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), for grants to urban areas within the United States to help enhance their overall security and preparedness level to prevent, respond and recover from acts of terrorism."
APCO URGES CAUTION ON SMART RADIO EFFORTS: "APCO International responded today to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) public notice initiating a proceeding on cognitive 'smart' radio systems (ET Docket 03-108) released yesterday."

Monday, December 29, 2003

SAFECOM e-gov description: This official description of SAFECOM is posted on the President's E-Government Initiatives web site.
IEEE Incident Management Working Group (P1512): The IEEE 1512 working group has a good body of work defining standard message sets that will have far-reaching effects on public safety interoperability.

Friday, December 26, 2003

DSRC Home: "5.9 GHz DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications) is a short to medium range communications service that supports both Public Safety and Private operations in roadside to vehicle and vehicle to vehicle communication environments."
Cover Pages: OASIS Emergency Management TC Approves Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) Draft (10-30-2003): "The Common Alerting Protocol is 'a simple but general format for exchanging all-hazard emergency alerts and public warnings over all kinds of networks. "

Friday, December 19, 2003

InfoWorld: AMD slips in new lower-performing Athlon 64: "Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) released a new Athlon 64 processor this week that is a little different than its older brother launched in September. But it comes at a price that will help AMD's 64-bit technology find its way into lower-priced desktops."
Nextel's CEO to Head Network Reliability and Interoperability Council: "The role of the NRIC is to develop recommendations for the FCC and the telecommunications industry to insure optimal reliability, security, interoperability and interconnectivity of, and accessibility to, public telecommunications networks and the Internet."

Tuesday, December 16, 2003 Sept. 11 Probers Look at Emergency Radios: "Concerns about the effectiveness of emergency radios on Sept. 11 have focused on technological flaws, but probers on Tuesday identified another problem: too many people trying to talk at once."

NIST update is found here.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

National League of Cities and Interoperability: The NLC homeland security working group met on 12/11 and spoke about communications interoperability, among other topics. They plan to work with the FCC on the subject.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

eXOS Services: "Denver firm to design communications software linking response teams"

Sunday, November 30, 2003

Cluster 5: Small Radios, Big Demands: Software-defined radio (SDR) technology will eventually improve domestic communications interoperability by providing frequency- and waveform-agile portables to police, firefighters, and other first responders. This report describes progress being made through the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) program and challenges faced by industry in creating the first generation of practical, battery-powered SDR radios.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

FCC Wireless Bureau Reorganized: "The Federal Communications Commission today said the Wireless Bureau has been reorganized to more effectively support strategic goals regarding broadband, competition, spectrum, media, homeland security and agency modernization."

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

New York Statewide Wireless Network (NYSWN) : "In January 2000, the SWN project was established under the New York State Office for Technology. The purpose of the project is to implement an integrated wireless radio network with statewide coverage, provide for interagency & intergovernmental communications (interoperability), and encourage partnerships with local governments to address their communications needs. "

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Communications system proves challenge for Coast Guard: "The Coast Guard is weathering software glitches in its efforts to roll out a new modernized communication system by 2006."

Friday, November 07, 2003

WyoLink: "[Wyoming] will ask the Legislature for $5.1 million next year to design and launch a statewide radio network that will improve communications among local, state and federal first responders in emergencies."

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Government Executive Magazine - 11/6/03 Lawmakers urge feds to take lead on first responder issues: "While there is an abundance of information on the problems facing 'first responders' to emergencies, the lack of leadership in addressing their concerns has hampered progress on the issue, two House lawmakers said on Thursday."

Friday, October 31, 2003

SUMMIT ON INTEROPERABLE COMMUNICATIONS FOR PUBLIC SAFETY: "The Summit on Interoperable Communications for Public Safety, held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on June 26 and 27, 2003 was a joint effort between NIST, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, Project SAFECOM, and the National Institute of Justice’s AGILE Program. The Summit brought together a variety of programs that were created to assist public safety practitioners, including the First Responders."

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

National Defense Magazine: "The Army is drastically simplifying the makeup of its high-tech soldier ensemble, the Land Warrior, in an effort to make the system less prone to failures and easier to use."
Analysis: Standards needed for interoperability: "The federal government should move quickly to set interoperability standards so that emergency communications and public safety agencies can coordinate effective responses to terrorist attacks and natural disasters, according to research released this week."

Friday, October 24, 2003

GCN daily news -- Homeland Security issues RFI for Safecom: "The Homeland Security Department released a request for information this week for Project Safecom, the initiative to connect wireless first-responder systems across federal, state and local agencies. By Nov. 14, the department wants vendors to submit five- to seven-page white papers describing technologies, services or concepts for the project."
DHS wants wireless tech for responders: "The Homeland Security Department seeks ideas to develop technology that will allow more than 44,000 public safety agencies nationwide communicate with each other in an emergency."

Sunday, October 19, 2003

[WiNSeC] wireless network security center: "The center is focused on solving technical and organizational problems associated with secure communications platforms." Working on mesh networks for public safety.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Broadband Mobile Data Convergence: Swisscom Mobile announces at Telecomm 2003 exhibition in Geneva with Microsoft support. UMTS, GPRS, and Public WLAN access - together.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Friday, October 03, 2003

DoD Briefing on Joint Lessons Learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom: "We still have some problems with the interoperability of our systems" - Search on "interoperability"
Worcester County (MD) awarded $5.6 million: Ocean City Today article on one DHS grantee.
Radionet Rose: "ROSE (Radionet Open Source Environment) is a development platform for IEEE 802.11 based access points"
Morphis - WAX Overview: "Morphis WAX (Wireless Abstract XML), is a language and set of components that provide an easy mechanism for delivering the right content to wireless devices, with little effort."
SIP: Creating next-generation telecom applications: IBM on Session Initiation Protocol, the wrapper for real-time IP sessions.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Verizon has taken after push-to-talk (PTT), in pursuit of Nextel's Direct Connect. Based on Motorola's iDen technology, Direct Connect rides radio channels using TDMA. Verizon use Qualcomm's CDMA, but apparently can't use its PTT technology, QChat, because Nextel has an exclusive license for it until 2006.


See this PSWN report, Qualcomm page, or Qualcomm white paper for more information on QChat.
Embedded Communications Broker (ECB) Technology
PSWN white paper.
Intel product overview on behalf of the apparently-defunct Impart Technologies.
Project SAFECOM - Project presentation to the Federal Wireless Users Group (April 2002)
Observations on Public Safety Communications Systems and Interoperability - Courtesy of Chemical and Biological Arms Control Institute. Part of What Should We Know? Whom Do We Tell? Leveraging Communication and Information to Counter Terrorism and Its Consequences
- December 2002
A Review of Standardization Efforts to Facilitate Public Safety Interoperability & Information Sharing - Produced by NTIA/ITS for NIST's Office of Law Enforcment Standards (May 2002)

Friday, September 19, 2003

SAFECOM in the Congressional Record - Comments of Rep. Curt Weldon, courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard, calling for local representation on advisory committees.
FEMA discussion of SAFECOM - (March 2003?) Information on Project SAFECOM is difficult to come by....
SAFECOM Description - Information on Project SAFECOM from the OMB Government-to-Government (G2G) web.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

GEIA Homeland Security Task Force - Lessons learned in the sniper attacks. Surprisingly cogent, if brief, analysis of communications interoperability needs and what worked. Interesting comment on the need for a 'virtual command post'.
Can you hear me now? - One of the better, recent updates on Project 25 standards.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

APCO Project InterCAD - "To create a standard method for CAD to CAD communications."
OASIS Emergency Management TC - Emergency Management XML standards
COPS Interoperable Communications Grant Invitees - 74 MSA's
NIJ - Communications Interoperability and Information Sharing
GAC Infrastructure Report - User Operational Requirements
GAC Infrastructure Report - Roles & Responsibilities
Best Practice in Information Integration Projects - conducted by the IACP for CapWIN, July 2000.
Veridian on IEEE-1512 - Page 3: "NYPD Highway Patrol" .... roh, roh ...
IEEE 1512 Fact Sheet: "Standard for Common Incident Management Message Sets for Use by Emergency Management Centers"
CapWIN - The Capital Wireless Integrated Network
SPAWAR Systems Center - Charleston
AGILE- INFOTECH - "an informational technology system providing inter-regional information sharing among law enforcement agencies (LEAs)"
AGILE Calendar
Communications Interoperability Resources