May 08, 2018 | Comments
The National Association of State Procurement Officers (NASPO) ValuePoint (NVP) public-safety communications equipment contract, led by the state of Washington, is preparing to rebid the nationwide public-safety communications equipment cooperative contract.

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April 17, 2018 | Comments
Like many in public safety, I’ve been watching with great interest as manufacturers develop new and improved devices intended for use on public-safety networks that expand on previous versions’ functionality, survivability and overall suitability. Device features such as improved ruggedness, user-replaceable batteries and positive-locking accessory side connectors are major improvements as device manufacturers zero in on products that will work in the public-safety world.

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March 27, 2018 | Comments
Both AT&T and Verizon announced plans for their respective public-safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) cores this week. Public-safety agencies now have the task of deciding which broadband data service best suits their needs.

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February 27, 2018 | Comments
At the end of 2017’s brutal hurricane season, Category 5 Hurricane Irma pummeled the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico in September with wind speeds up to 185 miles per hour (mph), making it one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded. Not only were emergency personnel forced to flee their previously secure shelters, their communications lines were all down. The electric power grid for government, homes, churches, schools and businesses blacked out, and the island’s citizens were in desperate need of assistance.

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February 20, 2018 | Comments
With the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) beginning to officially announce its first subscribers, FirstNet officials and public-safety users on that network need to think about the data they are collecting and transmitting and how to store, protect and analyze it.

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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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