Saturday, September 22, 2007

Chandramouli leads DoJ-funded project exploring dynamic spectrum access for public safety: "The National Institute of Justice, which serves as the research and development arm of the US Department of Justice, has awarded a three-year project grant to Dr. Rajarathnam Chandramouli, Thomas E. Hattrick Chair Associate Professor of Information Systems in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. Chandramouli will serve as Principal Investigator of the project, titled, “Cognitive radio protocols and platform for dynamic spectrum access in public safety bands.”"
Need For Emergency Data Standardization - Government Technology: "The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and the COMCARE Emergency Response Alliance outlined their shared vision for next generation emergency communications in a letter addressed to Denis Gusty, the Disaster Management Program Manager at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Interoperability and Compatibility. Representatives from NENA and COMCARE called on DHS to lead the development of a next generation emergency data standardization project that would facilitate the exchange of data from a wide variety of emergency information sources."

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 | Improvements For Area Fire Departments Since Sept. 11: "Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Chief Ronald Mastin says there has been great progress on building on regional cooperation since the attack at the Pentagon six years ago. While thought of as a successful operation, reports found there was room for improvement in communications and interoperability. Northern Virginia fire departments have been working together on a daily basis for more than 30 years. Some of what those departments have learned is helping pave the way for the future. D.C. Fire and EMS now has a Fire Operations Center that helps with coordination and communications for major emergencies and special days like Tuesday. In operation Tuesday, the center kept up on intelligence briefings and monitored emergency calls. " Bay Area Cities Unveil Emergency Communications System: "Different Bay Area police and emergency agencies are a step closer to being able to communicate with each other during an emergency. It's something called interoperability, and not having it is a real problem. Imagine the challenge when a cop in San Francisco can't use the radio to talk with an officer in Oakland. Oakland Police dispatchers currently can communicate with some jurisdictions, but in a widespread emergency the ability to talk directly to everyone affected would be essential. 'We're here today to say that we all get it,' said Oakland mayor Ron Dellums. Public safety officials from San Jose to San Francisco gathered at Treasure Island to recall the lessons of 9/11 and Katrina, as well as Loma Prieta and the East Bay hills firestorm."

Saturday, September 08, 2007

City disappointed in pace of Wi-Fi network setup: "In the wake of Chicago's decision to call off its municipal Wi-Fi plan, officials in Aurora are turning critical of the recurring delays in setting up their own wireless network. It's been nearly a year since California-based MetroFi began installing Wi-Fi antennas on light poles across the city. It is now September 2007, the month during which city officials predicted the network would be completed. According to those same officials, MetroFi has only installed 149 of the 600 to 900 antennas that will make up the finished network."
Input: Heavy spending ahead for public safety interoperability: "State and local governments will spend an estimated $5.5 billion on interoperable public safety communications between 2007 and 2012, including $3.4 billion from federal sources, according to a new report from Input Inc."
Bapco Journal: interoperability - the case for ensuring joined-up communications: "In an exclusive article for the BAPCO Journal, Dave Rogers, Airwave's fleetmapping consultant & interoperability adviser, discusses the potential benefits of communication between Britain's emergency and council services

For central and provincial governments alike, the ability to communicate has always been vital for the dissemination and enforcement of power. Without his whistle, the 'bobby peeler' was an individual, effectively helpless in the face of even moderately concerted resistance. The whistle elevated the policeman to become part of a much larger whole and criminals knew that once it had sounded, any numerical advantage would soon come to an end. In short, it is the ability to communicate effectively that allows modern, social institutions to function as a cohesive unit."
Virginia Tech Reports on IT Performance During Shootings: "An internal review of Virginia Tech's information and communications infrastructure in the wake of the April shootings found that the campus telecommunication systems were 'dramatically stressed during the initial response period but performed adequately,' according to a report in The Roanoke Times. .... The report said that local cellular networks became congested and blocked calls during the initial response period to the shootings, according to the Times. It also found 'deficiencies in interoperability and coverage of police, fire, and rescue radio communications.' "