DHS OEC Report Evaluates Vail Alpine Ski 700 MHz Public-Safety Demo Network
Thursday, May 28, 2015 | Comments

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) released a report that evaluated the 700 MHz band class 14 public-safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) pilot network in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado, earlier this year. The network, with an FCC special temporary authority (STA) license, was used during the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) Alpine World Ski Championships.

The report includes the following five key findings:
• The network demonstrated that private commercial entities possess the technical capabilities necessary to design, implement, test and operate a public-safety dedicated broadband network.
• Public-safety agencies, when exposed to dedicated broadband access, desire continued access to that network.
• Public safety can benefit from access to a dedicated public-safety broadband network.
• Devices operating on the demonstration network recorded reasonably consistent and usable downlink, uplink and latency rates through the evaluation period.
• Evaluators noted the increased functionality available to public-safety personnel via the specific applications running on the demonstration network.

The 70-page report also offered recommendations for future improvement, including the following:
• The network was not necessary to sustain operations because the agencies did not place mission-critical communications across the band 14 network.
• The network is a unique but potentially repeatable model for other communities.
• The network was erected specifically to support a time-limited event.
• Future networks require significant policy and procedure enhancements, as well as user training, to provide the most benefit.

“In total, the success of the network, even when tempered by the noted areas for future improvement, demonstrate the value of providing responders with access to a ubiquitous, permanent, nationwide public-safety broadband network,” the report said.

The DHS report is available here.

FirstNet Colorado also released a report with lessons learned about the demonstration network. That report is here.

Your comments are welcome, click here.

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