Fiplex Calls on AHJs, Suppliers to Improve Indoor Public-Safety Communications
Monday, June 22, 2020 | Comments

Indoor public-safety equipment provider Fiplex Communications published a call to action to inspire a renewed industrywide commitment for achieving emergency first responder communications. The call to action urges the public-safety ecosystem to expand and accelerate the deployment of in-building public-safety communications networks by focusing innovation and technology that overcomes the underlying challenges of all stakeholders.

The majority of public-safety incidents occur indoors, and it is paramount that first responder wireless devices work reliably throughout all areas of buildings and venues including garages, basements and stairwells. Fire codes have developed a clear standard for these applications, and although code adoption continues at a notable pace, momentum continues to languish amid increasing RF complexity, higher performance requirements and economic pressures. While managed by authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) and solution providers, these challenges continue to delay the full success of the public-safety mission.

“Over the past 20 years, public safety has striven to keep our first responders effective and safe through the intentional adoption of codes requiring critical communications coverage indoors,” said Chief Tom Jenkins, Rogers (Arkansas) Fire Department and past president and chairman of the board of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). “Thanks to these efforts, many buildings have been addressed and lives have been saved. However, there remain many buildings in which first responders are at risk because they are unable to communicate. Both the public safety and the solutions provider ecosystems must continue to rise to the challenge and re-evaluate how to ensure indoor communications whenever and wherever needed.”

The manifesto advocates for a renewed and realigned commitment that goes beyond the legacy of keeping first responders safe. It is a call to action on two symbiotic outcomes — better buildings and better business — for AHJs and solutions providers, respectively.

“The goals and drivers of public safety and solutions providers are often in conflict,” said Earl Lum, president, at EJL Wireless Research. “Stringent critical communications requirements established by AHJs for better and safer buildings tend to expose solution vulnerabilities and increase complexity which, in turn, have an adverse economic impact on solutions providers. An absence of compelling and repeatable business drivers spawns a vicious circle, which jeopardizes widescale assurance of public-safety communications indoors.”

The manifesto calls for solutions providers to innovate to deliver mission-critical performance, mitigate complexity and foster economic models.

“Better buildings cannot be achieved without better business opportunities for solutions providers,” said Matias de Goycoechea, Fiplex chief technology officer (CTO) and chairman of the board who authored the manifesto. “Countless millions have been invested on education, training, code creation and adoption. But to fully realize the vision, a renewed commitment is in order — one that focuses on innovation to lower complexity and cost and deliver true mission-critical performance. We are calling upon our partners and competitors to join us in embracing this mind shift to help keep our first responders effective and safe in more buildings.”

Download “A Call to Action: Better Buildings, Better Business Manifesto” here.

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