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February 02, 2018 | Comments
The false alert of a nuclear attack on Hawaii is an inexcusable, but hardly isolated, example of the fragility and fragmentation of America’s emergency alerting system. False alarms are dangerous because they lead to complacency when real danger threatens. Even worse is when alerts fail to reach endangered people in real disasters — or when alerts are never sent in the first place. As natural and manmade threats persist and increase, it is clear that our alerting system is not up to the task of serving the mobile and connected America of the 21st century.

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November 14, 2017 | Comments
During the early days of television, evening game shows were among the most highly watched programs on the air. Few were more popular than “Who Do You Trust?,” which initially aired in 1956. Jump forward 60 years later, a new version of this show is back on the air. In both versions, a panel is provided with a story presented by three different contestants and a panel of judges who try to sort out which contestant is telling the truth. As we look at the current state of affairs surrounding the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), we could easily see a scenario in which the various players in the FirstNet arena could fill a panel of contestants, and the judges, otherwise known as public safety, would have a serious challenge determining a winner.

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November 06, 2017 | Comments
Manfred Blaha recently was named president of the Public Safety Communication Europe (PSCE), an independent forum where representatives of public-safety user organizations, industry and research institutes can exchange ideas and best practices, develop road maps, and improve the future of public-safety communications.

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October 30, 2017 | Comments
SAFECOM is once again taking steps to support the nation’s public-safety organizations by launching the 2017 SAFECOM Nationwide Survey (SNS). The SNS builds on best practices and lessons learned from the 2006 NIBS to provide up-to-date information on the current state of the nation’s public-safety communications.

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October 03, 2017 | Comments
Waiting for results for an extended period of time can warp one’s memory. This applies to spectrum policy. Over time, advocates on one side or the other of regulatory matters may be unwilling or willingly prone to forget initial objectives and relevant facts, as well as completely lose sight of all reasonableness.

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September 26, 2017 | Comments
Dan Robinson, acting supervisor for field support services for Michigan’s Public Safety Communications System (MPSCS), offers the latest updates on the Programming and Management (PAM) Tool, which helps with the increasingly complicated job of programming two-way radios.

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September 05, 2017 | Comments
After an extended deliberative process and pursuant to issuing a request for proposals (RFP), the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) selected AT&T as its partner to build, operate and maintain the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN). The actual terms of the agreement between FirstNet and AT&T remain unavailable to the public for proprietary reasons. However, what has been revealed in public statements and in trade press reports may raise questions about whether the AT&T proposal accepted by FirstNet tracks the vision Congress had when it created FirstNet.

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August 11, 2017 | Comments
Scott Edson, executive director of the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS), provides an update on the combined Project 25 (P25) and Long Term Evolution (LTE) project.

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August 08, 2017 | Comments
Change is inevitable. During the past 127 years, the fire service witnessed the transformation from the use of a fire alarm box to dispatch centers. The first fire alarm call box was put into service in the 1880s to telegraph a location code to the central fire station when the lever was pulled in the box. As technology progressed, the fire service actively transitioned to dispatch centers that would receive and disseminate calls for service all over a city, county or jurisdiction.

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August 01, 2017 | Comments
When and how the transition to 6.25 kilohertz will happen is anyone’s guess, but the FCC continues to remind licensees that the transition is still in the commission’s future plans.

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