Saturday, June 19, 2010

Debate heats up on the Hill over sale of public safety spectrum - Nextgov:

Does the country need to allocate more scare spectrum so people can use their iPhones at max speed everywhere, or should it be reserved for public safety communications?"

Thursday, April 08, 2010

FCC reveals more details about public-safety network plans: "An FCC official revealed more details about how the nationwide public-safety mobile broadband network will come to fruition. Jamie Barnett, chief of the FCC's public safety and homeland security bureau, indicated the FCC plans to establish an interoperability center and rule on individual 700 MHz broadband waiver requests by mid-summer. The commission is also looking to prepare for a D Block auction next year and lobby Congress to fund the rollout of the public-safety network."

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Channelized Communications - Andrew Seybold: "The Following is a copy of an email I sent to FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell. I have reprinted it below because it helps to explain why channelized communications systems are and will continue to be needed by first responder and other two-way radio (Land Mobile Radio) systems for years to come. This is one of the most difficult subjects to explain to someone whose only experience with wireless is the use of a cell phone for voice and other services. Today’s cell phone systems, and those being built out as next-generation systems are not capable of providing the types of services discussed below."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Werner on Virtual USA - podcast: "The nation's ability to share information seamlessly across localities, states and regions still is limited. To address the problem, the DHS Science and Technology Directorate's Command, Control and Interoperability Division — assisted by the First Responder Technologies program — created Virtual USA."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

FCC unveils plan for public safety network: "Federal efforts to create interoperable first-responder communications could receive a boost with an FCC plan to spend between $12 million and $16 million on a nationwide interoperable public safety wireless broadband network.

James Barnett, head of the FCC's public safety and homeland security bureau, wrote about FCC plans Wednesday in a blog post.

'Our central recommendation is the creation of a nationwide interoperable public safety broadband wireless network through incentive-based partnerships between public safety agencies and the partner of their choice,' he wrote. His plan 'also recommends that the FCC create an Emergency Response Interoperability Center (ERIC) to ensure a baseline of operability and interoperability for the network nationwide.'"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

FCC plan calls for 'minimal' public safety fee for all broadband users: "The FCC's National Broadband Plan, released today, calls for a new 'minimal' fee on all U.S. broadband users to help pay for a new $16 billion nationwide emergency response wireless network.

Public safety officials have pleaded for such an interoperable network to aid their response to disasters and potential attacks since firefighters and police could not communicate effectively during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the response following Hurricane Katrina."

Friday, March 05, 2010

DHS Announces New Interoperability Grants for Border States: "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) launched the Border Interoperability Demonstration Project (BIDP), a competitive demonstration grant program designed to identify innovative solutions to emergency communications challenges along and across the border. Applications are due April 26."
FCC talks National Broadband: "It's just over two weeks until the FCC presents its National Broadband Plan (March 16th), but already, the regulator has started slipping out details of the plan, including a promise to find 500MHz of spectrum for wireless broadband and a request for Congress to cough up $16bn for a public-safety network to be integrated with priority access to commercial networks."

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

FCC to Recommend $16B in Grant Funding for 700 MHz Broadband Network : "Although the FCC will recommend moving forward with a D block auction, it will also recommend that Congress consider significant public funding — $12 billion to $16 billion over 10 years — for a federal grant program to help support network construction and operation and maintenance of a 700 MHz pubic-safety broadband network. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski released the public-safety national broadband plan details at a briefing Thursday.

The FCC’s recommendations include creation of an approximately $6 billion federal grant program to help support network construction and additional funding for operation of the broadband network. About $6 billion of the grant program would support capital costs of the public-safety network over 10 years. Another $6 billion to $10 billion program would cover operation of the network over 10 years and to upgrade the network as technology advances."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

DHS trains 1,600 first responders for multi-jurisdictional incidents: "More than 1,600 first responders have completed the All-Hazards Type-III Communications Unit Leader (COML)training course, a program designed to improve multi-jurisdictional coordination among first responders at an incident, said Chris Essid, director of Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications (OEC).

As part of the National Emergency Communications Plan, the OEC offered 66 COML training courses nationwide to help public-safety professionals more effectively lead and coordinate communications during emergencies and large-scale events. Multi-jurisdictional events around the nation have demonstrated the benefits of consistent planning, training and operating procedures, Essid said. In fact, it was the emergency-response community that identified the need for COML training and helped DHS create the formal training program by building on the successful wildfire-scenario model."
D.C. picked as site for urban 700 MHz public-safety demonstration: "Washington, D.C., will be the location of a 700 MHz broadband demonstration network that is designed to test the public-safety capabilities that a wireless broadband network could bring to first responders in urban areas.

The D.C. testbed is the second such network to be announced by Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR), which previously said it would conduct similar tests for rural areas at its facilities outside of Boulder, Colo. The D.C. demonstration will use the same tower infrastructure that was deployed for the district’s now-defunct 700 MHz 3G wireless system for public safety, said Bryan Spivak, with district’s chief technology officer."

Friday, February 05, 2010

Critical Calls: "... 'Technology investments go on, but without a concept of operations to act as a guide, they go on with no end,' says [Mark Borkowski, executive director for DHS' Secure Border Initiative], adding that such projects must have clear objectives."

"What are the primary functions of the system? Who are the users and stakeholders? How do they operate both under normal circumstances as well as in exceptional situations? Will users be able to turn on interoperability when they need it, and turn it off when they don't? The answers to these questions are crucial to developing any wireless communications system."
Washington, D.C., Partners with Feds to Test 4G Technology for National Public Safety Network: "At the end of 2009, the world of fourth-generation (4G) mobile telecommunications technology got a boost when a Swedish telecom operator deployed the first-ever commercial long-term evolution (LTE) services in Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway.

This is critical because even though the company, TeliaSonera, launched the network for commercial purposes, U.S. public safety agencies support LTE technology for a proposed nationwide public safety network on the 700 MHz radio band."