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Blog Posts by Jennifer Manner

Creating Interoperable Communications for First Responders

December 10, 2010 - 04:40 PM

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Today we took a very important step in ensuring nationwide interoperability for public safety broadband communications.  The Public Safety Bureau, based on the recommendations of the FCC's Emergency Response Interoperability Center (ERIC), is working toward a technical interoperability framework. The ERIC recommendations were developed following a thorough review of fifteen interoperability showings from early builders of 700 MHz public safety mobile broadband networks, as well as extensive comments by the public safety community.
This technical framework will help ensure from day one that interoperability is achieved among all public safety broadband networks. It also moves us closer to ensuring that the nation will not face the same magnitude of problems previously identified by the 9/11 Commission and others regarding the limitations and inability of America's first responders to effectively communicate with one another during 9/11 and then, subsequently, during and in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  We look forward to our continued work with America's first responders, state and local emergency managers and hospital emergency departments to make sure their broadband communications needs are met.

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FCC Seeks Membership to Public Safety Advisory Committee Focusing on Technical Issues and Interoperable Public Safety Broadband Communications

September 2, 2010 - 10:27 AM

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Earlier this week, the FCC marked the achievement of another significant milestone in the implementation of the National Broadband Plan’s recommendations for the deployment of a nationwide interoperable wireless broadband network for our Nation’s first responders by calling for public safety officials and others in the public to serve on a advisory committee that will make recommendations to the Commission as it develops the technical framework for the network (see public notice seeking nominations). Over the past year we’ve met with public safety officials, lawmakers, government partners, and the communications industry with one goal in mind – deployment of a cutting-edge interoperable broadband network for America’s first responders, hospitals and other public safety officials. Teamwork among all interested parties is the best formula for one day making this network a reality.

Nominations for membership on the Emergency Response Interoperability Center Public Safety Advisory Committee are welcome and may be submitted through September 17, 2010. The establishment of this Federal advisory committee continues the Commission’s ongoing dialogue with public safety as the Commission develops a framework for nationwide interoperability and expands this dialogue by including members from a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the public safety community, such as representatives of state and local public safety agencies, public safety trade associations, federal user groups, and other segments of the public safety community, as well as service providers, equipment vendors and other industry segments involved in public safety.

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FCC to Host Public Forum on Mobile Broadband for First Responders

February 5, 2010 - 01:27 PM

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There's a lot of excitement around the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau this week about our upcoming public forum on mobile broadband for first responders. On Wednesday, February 10 at 2:00 p.m., we'll be hosting first responders, network operators, and policy makers for a two-hour discussion about how we can solve a problem that has plagued the public safety community for far too long.

Looking back over the past decade, there is one thing that every major disaster has in common: when police, fire, EMS, and other public safety organizations couldn't communicate – between agencies and disciplines and across jurisdictional lines – lives were lost, and property was damaged or destroyed. While sharing photos, videos, and mapping data is now a part of everyday life for most Americans, the public safety community has largely been left behind. Despite all of the advances in mobile communications, the new generation of first responders still needs to carry a device that resembles a two-pound brick that only handles voice calls. Soon, however, all that will change.

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