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Equipping Volunteer Responders with Broadband Technologies

This blog is a repost from FirstNet’s website. By Vicki Lee, FirstNet Association Manager FirstNet has been charged by Congress to build, operate, and maintain the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. Knowing those that we serve at FirstNet is all too important. Throughout FirstNet’s consultations with the states and territories,…

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Getting Ever Closer to Solving Wireless 911 Location Accuracy

Yesterday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote a blog announcing that he has circulated an order that, per the tentative agenda also announced yesterday, would “ensure that accurate caller location information is automatically provided to public safety officials for all wireless calls to 911, including for indoor calls, to meet consumer and public safety needs and…

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Mutual Aid: App Developers and Public Safety Experts Collaborating

By Mark Reddish It’s no surprise that public safety apps are better when developed with input from public safety experts.  What’s surprising, or at least exciting, is that professionals from two different worlds can work so well together when they’re practically speaking different languages.  Great things happen when developers and public safety professionals collaborate and…

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Rapid Response: Building public safety apps in 24 hours

By Mark Reddish If you’d seen the empty case of Red Bull, you’d believe me when I say that writing code can be extreme.  On May 2-3, I experienced my first app hackathon, an event that was hosted by AT&T and held at 1776 in Washington, D.C.  The 24 hour-long competition drew over one hundred…

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Innovative Ideas from the Boston Emerging Technology Forum

By Mark Reddish On December 3-4, APCO held an Emerging Technology Forum (ETF) in Boston, MA.  We were honored to have several officials join us, including FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, FirstNet Board Member Kevin McGinnis, and representatives from Boston police, fire, and EMS.  And, it being an APCO event, the audience was full of public safety professionals. …

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Data Jamming for Public Safety

Dateline October 2013 Public safety is clearly immersed in a new era of communications technology.  FirstNet continues to make progress, including the related planning efforts at the state and local levels.  The APCO 2013 exhibit floor featured more broadband and advanced communications tools, gear (some wearable), networks, and devices than ever before.  At APCO 2013…

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Happy Anniversary

Today marks the one-year anniversary of enactment of landmark legislation that created FirstNet and will lead to the deployment of an advanced, nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network.  From the printed words of the law, we are witnessing tangible evidence of what public safety successfully fought for, including a dedicated FirstNet board, armed with spectrum…

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The Spectrum Alphabet

For folks unfamiliar with the concept of “radiofrequency spectrum,” it wasn’t easy to comprehend what the heck the “D block” was and why it was so important for public safety.  Think of spectrum like highways – some are wider than others, some are better paved, some have more traffic, some are more direct, etc.  But…

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Sandy

Unfortunately, Sandy, the Hurricane turned Superstorm, has become yet another large-scale disaster, with ongoing effects for the foreseeable future. During my tenure at the FCC, I had the opportunity to serve a role in the federal National Response Framework (specifically, Emergency Support Function #2 – Communications).  Throughout my career, including my current position with APCO, I…

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Time to Innovate

Public safety communications technology is advancing in ways that will completely transform emergency response.  The decades-old networks first responders and PSAPs now use – land mobile radio, 9-1-1, and emergency alert systems – are catching up to the modern, IP-based technologies that we as consumers enjoy every day.  The consumer marketplace is flooded with smart…

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