NIST Seeks Comment on Features of Public-Safety Broadband Network (9/12/11)
Monday, September 12, 2011 | Comments

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), within the Department of Commerce (DOC), released a notice and request for comment seeking input on various possible features of a new nationwide interoperable public-safety broadband network. This input will be used by NIST to help determine research and development priorities in anticipation of the president’s Wireless Innovation (WIN) fund to help drive innovation of next-generation network technologies. President Barack Obama announced the WIN plan in June.

In August 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) office held a national forum on public-safety broadband needs. More than 20 public-safety practitioners identified 15 operational requirements, each of which relate to at least four overarching themes, resiliency, availability and reliability, security and affordability/commercial alignment.

NIST is working with industry, its federal partners and public-safety organizations to conduct research and development (R&D) to support new standards, technologies and applications to advance public-safety communications. NIST seeks comments on possible features of the network. NIST also seeks to understand the extent to which these features and requirements can be satisfied through existing commercially available technology or though technology that could become available in the relative short-term, assuming appropriate research and development.

Information obtained from this solicitation will be used to inform the potential use of grant funds to spur innovation in those areas not currently commercialized.

This request for information coincides with other work NIST is doing to support the nationwide public-safety broadband network, including a demonstration network from the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program in Boulder, Colo. The full solicitation is available here. Comments are due Oct. 12 to Dereck Orr at

Your comments are welcome, click here.

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