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.

City of Richardson (Texas): Steve Graves describes transition from LMR to enhanced PTT offering
Steve Graves, chief information officer for the city of Richardson, Texas, describes the operational and financial benefits achieved by having general-government employees leverage a carrier-based push-to-talk (PTT) service. Public-safety users also plan to use the carrier PTT technology to supplement communications on the existing P25 system.
Swenson, Johnson, Takei reappointed to the FirstNet board
FirstNet Chairwoman Sue Swenson, Vice Chairman Jeff Johnson and board member Teri Tekai have been reappointed to serve additional three-year terms on the board of FirstNet, according to an announcement today from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
FirstNet names eight recipients in $26.8 million grant program to relocate 700 MHz narrowband systems
FirstNet announces that eight public-safety entities will receive a total of $26.8 million to fund the relocation of their narrowband systems to different 700 MHz frequencies, clearing the airwaves for FirstNet’s nationwide public-safety broadband network that is scheduled to be built during the next several years.
PSAC: Chairman Harlin McEwen highlights key points of local-control report to FirstNet
Harlin McEwen, chairman of the Public-Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), says he believes that public-safety agencies will be able to have an adequate level of local control on the proposed FirstNet nationwide broadband system for first responders. The PSAC recently submitted its local-control report to FirstNet.
Fairfax County: Michael Newburn explains replacement of general-government LMR system with carrier enhanced PTT service
Michael Newburn, wireless manager for Fairfax County, Va., outlines the reasoning behind the decision to replace an aging analog LMR system for general government employees with an enhanced push-to-talk (PTT) service. The decision saved the county more than $16 million in upfront costs and more than $2 million annually.
Motorola Solutions: Craig Siddoway highlights efforts to make virtual-reality technology beneficial to public safety
Craig Siddoway, director of advanced concepts at Motorola Solutions, explains how the company is exploring how virtual reality could be used to help public safety while team members conduct a proof-of-concept demonstration of the technology—featuring technology from eyeFluence that allows a user to navigate through applications by moving only their eyes—at APCO 2016 in Orlando.
Airbus DS Communications: CEO Bob Freinberg explains how VESTA NEXT addresses gap between carriers and PSAPs
Airbus DS Communications CEO Bob Freinberg highlights features of VESTA NEXT, the company's new platform that provides next-generation 911 (NG911) services from a carrier's central office to a public-safety answering point (PSAP) during this conversation with IWCE's Urgent Communications Editor Donny Jackson at ACPO 2016 in Orlando.
Incomplete, inaccurate 911 maps ‘are killing people,’ FCC official says
Industry and federal regulators are making strides to improve location information associated with emergency calls from wireless devices, but such efforts will be undermined if the maps used by public-safety answering points (PSAPs) are not complete and accurate—a circumstance that is the case “too often,” according to an FCC official speaking at APCO 2016.
JVCKENWOOD: Mark Jasin, John Suzuki showcase P25 portable radio developed jointly by JVCKENWOOD USA, EF Johnson
Mark Jasin, CEO of JVCKENWOOD USA, and John Suzuki, CEO of EF Johnson Technologies, discuss the new Kenwood Viking 6000 P25 portable radio that is being unveiled this week at APCO 2016 in Orlando.
Icom America: Mobile communications van features company's interoperability gear
Ray Novak of Icom America and Mike Lee, a communications unit leader (COML) for a Florida county, highlight the capabilities of a mobile communications van that includes Icom interoperability products that enable communications between myriad radio and commercial technologies. The van is being featured in the Icom America booth at APCO 2016 in Orlando.
Motorola Solutions announces new mobile radio, enhancements to its P25 platform
Motorola Solutions will unveil a new P25 mobile radio that operates on its ASTRO 25 systems and will highlight key features enabled by the 7.17 release of ASTRO 25 software today at APCO 2016.
APCO: Jeff Cohen makes case for public-safety telecommunicators' job to be classified in protective services category 1
Jeff Cohen, APCO International's chief counsel for law and policy and director of government relations, explains why APCO believes public-safety telecommunicators should be reclassified with others in the federal government's "protective" occupation. Currently, telecommunicators are listed in a category with secretaries and clerks.
Zetron to unveil text-to-911 enhancement, CSSI and application interfaces during APCO 2016
Zetron announces that it will demonstrate at APCO 2016 in Orlando its ESInet-based text-to-911 solution that is designed to help call-takers multitask, allowing them to answer an emergency voice calls and one or more emergency texts simultaneously, according to a company official.
Zetron announces new Pathway gateway to ease analog-to-IP radio transition
Zetron announces its new Pathway radio gateway, which will leverage multiple technology interfaces to help network operators maintain service while migrating system from an analog platform to an IP-based technology, according to a company official.
Ohio officials applaud data experiences during LTE exercise, say voice comms need work
Ohio officials gave high marks to situational-awareness applications operating on a temporary Band 14 700 MHz LTE network during a recent exercise, but they said the push-to-talk (PTT) voice communications on the same system need to be improved before they are deployed in a real-world public-safety environment.

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