Monday, November 30, 2009

When interoperability and security collide: "Opening up transmissions between agencies is at the core of interoperable communications, but with that openness comes an increased need for security.

This seeming paradox was made all too clear on September 11th, 2009.

As the Coast Guard held a training exercise on the Potomac near the Pentagon, CNN's police scanner picked up transmissions from the exercise.

CNN then reported 10 shots had been fired on a suspicious vessel. Fox News also reported the shots."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nationwide public safety broadband network encounters funding problems: "Eight years after the 9/11 attacks and four years after the landfall of Hurricane Katrina, ensuring that first responders have interoperable communications when reacting to such disasters remains a priority for policy-makers at the local, state and national levels.

While the deployment of narrowband systems at 700 MHz — the recently cleared band upon which federal policy-makers have pinned many of their public-safety communications hopes — continues in the piecemeal fashion long familiar to public safety, efforts to create a national broadband network for the first-response community have yielded little tangible progress. The well-chronicled failure of the 700 MHz auction to attract a commercial D Block bidder willing to work with public safety in a public/private partnership has been followed by two years of spirited debate and considerable legwork, but no clear course of action has been chosen by Congress or the FCC."
Pieces of homeland security puzzle assembled in new Purdue center: "A group of researchers at a new Purdue University visual data center knows that knowledge might be power, but how it's filtered is what really counts. Purdue on Monday celebrated the inception of the national center, dubbed VACCINE or Visual Analytics for Command, Control and Interoperability Environments. The center, funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is a collaboration among 16 universities, including Purdue, where it's headquartered.

'It aims to provide comprehensive visual depictions -- such as graphics, maps and simulations -- of data needed to help law enforcement and emergency responders across the country function better,' said director David Ebert."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

FCC Mulls Broadband Network for Public Safety: "So much of the government's recent attention to broadband networks has focused on the networks used by consumers, but in the backdrop of that heavily-lobbied debate are policymakers' concerns over the use of broadband to improve public safety.

But with a thicket of state, local and tribal jurisdictions with widely varying needs and budgets, the goal of a nationwide, interoperable broadband-enabled communications network has remained elusive."