Donny Jackson

Urgent Communications

Donny Jackson is editor of Urgent Communications magazine. Before joining UC in 2002, he covered telecommunications for four years as a freelance writer and as news editor for Telephony magazine. Prior to that, he worked for suburban newspapers in the Dallas area, serving as editor-in-chief for the Irving News and the Las Colinas Business News.

Los Angeles city, county wrestle over federal grant money earmarked for LA-RICS P25 system
The Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) has an “unplanned funding gap” in its budget after the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Approval Authority retroactively pulled $11 million in UASI 2011 grant funds from LA-RICS—allegedly on a recommendation from the office of Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti, according to a letter from the Los Angeles County board of supervisor to Garcetti’s office.
Sensory leverages voice, facial biometrics in TrulySecure 2.0 on-device authentication solution 1
Silicon Valley-based Sensory announces the availability of TrulySecure 2.0, a multimodal biometric authentication technology that leverages both voice and facial biometrics technologies to ensure secure access to application on mobile Android devices.
FCC proposes messaging, location enhancements to Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system
Authorities will be able to provide the public with alerts via wireless devices that are more detailed and geographically relevant under a proposal to revamp the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system that FCC commissioners approved unanimously.
City of Los Angeles ends LA-RICS membership, plans to build own LMR system 1
Los Angeles City Council members vote unanimously to opt out of its membership to the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS), citing potential cost advantages by taking the action and plans to deploy a new city-owned land-mobile-radio (LMR) network during the next 13 months.
NetMotion announces diagnostic solution designed for use on FirstNet devices
Public-safety agencies seeking to evaluate wireless broadband options from FirstNet and commercial carriers can utilize NetMotion Diagnostics 3.2, the new version of the NetMotion Wireless software package that supports two 700 MHz Band 14 devices today and is expected to support many more during the next year.
NTIA still undecided about fate of public-safety LTE projects funded with BTOP money
​Public-safety LTE projects funded with federal grants from the Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program (BTOP) remain in limbo more than six weeks after Congress passed legislation calling for a five-year extension for awardees to utilize unspent BTOP funds through fiscal year 2020.
FirstNet remains focused on year-end RFP release, officials say
FirstNet still plans to release its much-anticipated final request-for-proposal (RFP) document by the end of this year as preparation continues for the FirstNet board meeting that is scheduled to be conducted in less than four weeks, according to a spokesman for the organization.
Mutualink: Mike Wengrovitz explains how a 'Wi-Fi 911' solution could work during emergencies
Mike Wengrovitz, Mutualink’s vice president of innovation, describes how a "Wi-Fi 911" system would leverage Internet of Public-Safety Things to activate special wireless broadband access to first responders (and potentially citizens) during emergency situations.
Motorola Solutions: Steve Sebestyen demonstrates TipSoft application for anonymous informants
Steve Sebestyen, business-development manager and public-safety evangelist for Motorola Solutions, explains how TipSoft—a software application acquired with the purchase of PublicEngines in April—lets informants provide public safety with information via a secure online portal while remaining anonymous.
ESChat leverages FirstNet spectrum in pilot LTE networks to deliver reliable PTT, other services 1
Mission-critical push-to-talk (PTT) functionality likely will not be part of LTE equipment for some time, but Band 14 700 MHz spectrum licensed to FirstNet promises to provide the dedicated resources needed to make over-the-top applications like ESChat reliable enough for first-responder use today, according to Josh Lober, president of SLA Corp., which developed ESChat.
Harris showcases Signal Sentry 1000 solution that detects, locates GPS-jamming sources
Harris last week exhibited at IACP 2015 in Chicago its Signal Sentry 1000 that provides this information in real time to critical-infrastructure operators, so they can quickly identify the jamming source and take steps to mitigate the problem.
Motorola Solutions: Christopher Holmes highlights features of CommandCentral Vault platform
Christopher Holmes, a product manager at Motorola Solutions, details the features of CommandCentral Vault, the company’s digital-management system that leverages Microsoft’s CJIS-compliant Azure Government cloud platform. In addition to providing secure storage of public-safety video, CommandCentral Vault automates time-consuming tasks like redaction and incident correlation.
Mutualink: Mike Wengrovitz discusses potential 'Internet of Public-Safety Things' solutions
Mike Wengrovitz, Mutualink’s vice president of innovation, explains how the Intel Edison chip can transform a variety of common items—for example, exit signs and lightbulbs—into smart assets that can aid in location-based and communications applications for public-safety users.
TechNexus: Terry Howerton highlights challenges, opportunities for vendors in public-safety sector
Terry Howerton, CEO of Chicago-based startup incubator TechNexus, discusses the benefits of creating a global public-safety marketplace that will attract solutions from more entrepreneurial companies—a primary goal of the new International Forum to Advance First Responder Innovation.
Motorola Solutions: Steve Sebestyen explains how broad product portfolio helps public safety
Steve Sebestyen, business-development manager and public-safety evangelist for Motorola Solutions, discusses how the many products in the company’s portfolio can be leveraged in a complementary manner to help public-safety agencies predict, respond to and investigate incidents.

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