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Aligning APCO’s Advocacy Priorities With Our Members’ Needs

By Jeff Cohen Back in January, we posted a blog outlining our top legislative and regulatory priorities for 2021. Now that we are six months into the year, and with APCO’s Annual Conference right around the corner, we’re writing to reflect on the “why” behind our advocacy. APCO is driven by the needs of its…

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APCO International’s Public Safety Communications Priorities for the New Year

By Jeff Cohen In 2020, public safety communications professionals faced an extraordinary year, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, record-breaking natural disasters, and major civil unrest, in addition to their “routine” work protecting and saving lives. From an advocacy perspective, 2020 was a mixed bag. We witnessed some progress with federal legislation, but there’s a lot…

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Update on New FCC Spectrum Rules: Why APCO is suing the FCC

By Jeff Cohen Last year, I wrote a blog titled “New FCC Spectrum Rules Put Public Safety Communications at Risk.” As I explained, the FCC adopted new rules to allow Wi-Fi routers to freely operate throughout a major spectrum band that is heavily relied upon by public safety agencies for “microwave” communications. APCO and other…

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Forming the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition

By Jeff Cohen Looking back at 2020, one of the bright spots for APCO was joining with other leading public safety associations to advocate for legislation that would establish a significant one-time federal grant program to achieve Next Generation 9‑1‑1 (NG9‑1‑1) nationwide. Following months of collaboration between various public safety associations and congressional staff, the…

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New FCC Spectrum Rules Put Public Safety Communications at Risk

By Jeff Cohen APCO recently filed two formal petitions with the FCC regarding a major change it made to regulations that govern the use of spectrum that is relied upon by public safety. One was a Petition for Reconsideration, urging the FCC to repeal the new rules and fix numerous problems; the other was a…

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Federal Report Estimates Extent of Interoperability Challenges for 9-1-1

By Jeff Cohen This won’t come as news to anyone working in public safety communications, but 9-1-1 faces significant interoperability challenges.  While ECCs are generally able to transfer basic voice 9-1-1 calls to neighboring ECCs, they often cannot share other types of communications and data important for emergency response. What might be surprising is that…

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2020 Legislative Priorities

By Jeff Cohen We just started a new year, but there are only a few months left to achieve a number of public safety legislative objectives before Congress enters into election mode. Click on the topics listed below to read background info and talking points for raising these matters, especially if you have plans to…

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FCC on the Verge of a Major Setback to 9-1-1 Location Accuracy

By Jeff Cohen This Friday, the FCC will vote on new rules that are supposed to ensure that first responders can locate someone who calls 9-1-1 from inside a multi-story building.  Unfortunately, the rules will not only fail to produce meaningful improvements, the FCC will let wireless carriers continue to avoid pursuing much better options…

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New Progress for Getting Wireless 9-1-1 Calls to the Right ECC

By Mark Reddish Apple recently announced that devices running iOS 13 will enable location fixes quickly enough to be used for routing wireless 9-1-1 calls.  This is a significant development because routing 9-1-1 calls based on the device’s estimated location, rather than relying on the location of the cell sector serving the caller, will allow…

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Quick Updates for the 2019 Annual Conference

By Jeff Cohen, Chief Counsel & Director of Government Relations APCO’s Annual Conference and Expo is fast approaching.  We have the remaining program updates for the Cutting Edge Developments track to share.  APCO’s Government Relations Office chooses content for this track, and we make a habit of holding one or two sessions open as close…

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