• D.C. area wireless network excludes DHS

    U.S. federal law enforcement officers from different agencies soon will be able to talk to each other on their own radios in the Washington, D.C. area — but DHS will not be a part of the new system; DHS was lacking two things that are essential in the federal government for big projects like this one: “You need someone to be in charge and you need a place to put the money,” said the former official; “DHS had neither”

  • AT&T begins sales of satellite smartphone

    AT&T’s TerreStar Genus satellite smartphone allows users to communicate from areas where no wireless network coverage exists — or areas where such coverage was destroyed by a disaster; the phone is not cheap, and using it is costly; there are other limitations, too — but for those who need to stay in touch with headquarters even when outside of traditional coverage areas, or when such coverage has been disrupted, the phone offers a reasonable solution

  • Accessing, sharing critical crime information across the county

    Yuma County, Arizona, deploys multi-agency, interoperable data-sharing solutions which allow first response, law enforcement, and public safety agencies in the county to access and share critical crime and safety information county wide

  • BATS: Extending broadband communication, I

    BATS system’s tight integration with the radios, along with the performance characteristics of the directional antenna, are used by BATS’ innovative software to create search patterns and predictive algorithms that automatically locate a desired connection point, establish communications, and track whether one or both of the wireless broadband radios are moving

  • Collaborators sought for emergency communications network demo

    NIST and NTIA are seeking partners in the telecommunications industry to help create a demonstration broadband communications network for the U.S. emergency services agencies; the demonstration network will provide a common site for manufacturers, carriers, and public safety agencies to test and evaluate advanced broadband communications equipment and software tailored specifically to the needs of emergency first responders

  • Hagerstown PD disappears from analog scanners

    Those wishing to listen in on Hagerstown Police Department calls will have to update their technology: the “patch” to the old 800 MHz frequency, which allowed simulcasting of calls on the old analog frequencies, was taken down last week

  • How to move forward on nationwide wireless emergency-response network

    One of the lessons of 9/11 and Katrina was that there was a need for a nationwide wireless public safety and emergency-response network; trouble is, politics, arguments about spectrum allocation, business competition, and technology have all contributed to holding things up; one observer says that the way forward is for government to make a national emergency response network a wireless priority and devote dedicated, unencumbered spectrum to it

  • Ambulance radios in London do not work in the rain

    Ambulances in London have a problem: ambulance crews often working without radios especially in heavy rain when their radios seem to have reception problems; ambulance panic buttons either did not work, or did not elicit any response when set off by staff; Airwave, the Airwave system is getting a £39 million upgrade in time for the 2012 London Olympics

  • Former high DHS officials, lawmakers oppose new FCC plan for public safety band

    Former DHS officials, lawmakers oppose the FCC’s latest plan for reallocating the U.S. limited airwaves; they say the plan could endanger public safety by limiting the ability of first responders to communicate during crises like 9/11

  • Public safety networks still can not communicate with each other

    Two decades after the initiation of the effort to bring about communication interoperability among public safety personnel, the lack of standards continues to hobble the campaign; Project 25, launched twenty-one years ago, was supposed to develop standards that would let police, firefighters, and other first responders communicate across departmental and jurisdictional lines using equipment from various manufacturers

  • Experts call for uniform testing standards for interoperable communications gear

    There are no uniform product testing programs for emergency communications equipment; this means that first responders could buy radios they believe are interoperable but fail to deliver during a disaster

  • FCC asks for public comments on public safety band for first responders

    The U.S. government wanted to use a portion of the 700 MHz band — which became available after the June 2009 transition from analog to digital TV — for public safety communication; the government hoped that large wireless providers would pay $1.3 billion for that portion of the band, but the highest bid came in at $472 million; the FCC is trying again

  • Documentary offers new insights into McVeigh's path to terrorism

    MSNBC is airing ‘The McVeigh Tapes: Confessions of an American Terrorist,’ tonight at 9:99pm EST; the film draws on forty-five hours of never-before-released interview audiotapes recorded during McVeigh’s prison stay; the film reveals the bomber’s descriptions of the planning and execution of the horrific attack and offers insight into how a decorated American soldier became a dangerous, anti-government terrorist

  • DHS advises first responders not to get rid of their old gear just yet

    The FCC’s National Broadband Plan recommends the deployment of a dedicated broadband network for the public safety community, but DHS tells first responders they should not expect an early exodus from existing technologies, including mobile radios, just yet

  • Wireless communication solutions for emergency situations

    At one time, traditional broadcast networks — radio and TV — were adequate for alert services and information dissemination during disasters and emergencies; these means do not allow communication among individuals; modern mobile devices might prove increasingly resilient in emergencies and could be the most accessible platform for the majority of people