Monday, January 26, 2004

First responder report due in spring: "By early spring, the federal government hopes to release a sweeping document that catalogs the priorities of first responders based on various national reports and surveys that have been published previously.

'We solicited information from them to identify reports that we had not found and insight into what is most useful in a final report,' said Richard Jacques, a senior program manager with the National Institute of Justice, adding that facilitating communications interoperability was 'at the forefront of the minds' of most survey participants."

Monday, January 19, 2004

SAFECOM Absorbs PSWN: "The Public Safety Wireless Network, a joint program between the Treasury Department and the Justice Department and a valuable resource on interoperable communications for state, local and tribal communities, has officially been folded into Project SafeCom."

Sunday, January 11, 2004

I-CLEAR is on the way: "The Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the Illinois State Police (ISP) have been working over the past year to develop a partnership that will significantly impact the quality of public safety. This partnership seeks to leverage the existing financial, technological, and human resources of the CPD and the ISP to develop a system for the collection, maintenance, and dissemination of criminal justice data in Illinois."

Thursday, January 08, 2004

InfoWorld: Interference questions dog broadband over power lines: "The Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL), a national ham radio association, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are among the organizations that have raised concerns with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over possible short-wave radio interference caused by broadband over power lines, often called BPL."
Focusing on what works: Stefano Mazzocchi blogs interesting comments on protocol, data, and metadata interoperability with web services. It leads to further thinking on radio communications interoperability.

Service-oriented architectures in the computer world presage what will occur in public safety communications - with voice, data, and hybrid networks. The importance of context in making data into information cannot be overstated, particularly when the compressed timeframes of emergencies turn the floods of normally consumable information back into incomprehensible streams of data.

Very much similarly, voice communications over radio break down when human receivers get overwhelmed by context switching - not to mention simple auditory overload. Our efforts to improve public safety communications interoperability will soon bring us to a saturation point where information degrades back into data and, in a radio way of thinking, just contributes to raising the "noise floor" competing with what we really need to hear.

Metadata is key in establishing context, in providing raw materials for creating consumable information. It's also needed for intelligent routing of communications. We can dream of a day when sufficient metadata passes with two-way voice streams to allow networked-based routing, rebroadcast, and multicast options during police, fire, and EMS operations so that we don't just have more, we have better.

Friday, January 02, 2004

SEARCH - 2004 Interoperable Communications Technology Training Program: Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Office, this technical assistance conference is designed to educate 2003 Interoperable Communications Technology COPS and FEMA grant recipients about planning, acquiring, implementing and integrating technology for interoperability projects. It is only open to grantee teams.