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Adams County, Colo., to demonstrate first phase of its FirstNet LTE system on June 6

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In his own words, the executive director of Adams County Communications Center (ADCOM911) describes the first-phase buildout of the county's public-safety LTE system--the first LTE network to be deployed under the umbrella of FirstNet.

By Bill Malone

With the 9/11 Museum recently opening in New York City, it reminded those of us in the public-safety communications world of the on-scene communication problems encountered during the attacks. The 9/11 Commission identified the need for all first responders to communicate with interoperable technology platforms­.

As with many of the terrible things that occurred that day, our citizens and our government came to a simple two-word conclusion in the months thereafter—never again. 

In the years following the release of the 9/11 Commission’s report, every one of its recommendations were fulfilled except for one—a nationwide, high-speed communications network dedicated solely to public safety. The enabling legislation for this network was passed into law by Congress in 2012. On June 6, the first step toward the fulfillment of this recommendation will go live at the Adams County Communication Center (ADCOM911), located in Commerce City, Colo. 

The ADCOM911 system will be part of the new Public Safety Broadband Network administrated by FirstNet. Once live, our work in Colorado could set the stage for the future implementation of this life-saving network in every community and throughout every state across the country. 

What does this mean for public safety? It means that, for the first time, first responders in the Adams County area and portions of Denver County will be able to communicate with colleagues on the ground, in command centers, and emergency dispatch centers using voice, video, chat, text and data in real time over a single dedicated broadband network.

By providing fire, emergency medical and police departments with this service, first responders can communicate more effectively by using LTE technology that delivers greater coverage, capacity and connectivity than the current wide range of public safety wireless systems. 

ADCOM911 currently serves a population of approximately 440,000 citizens through both emergency 911 calls and non-emergency phone calls. In 2013,  ADCOM911 generated more than 360,000 unique requests for service, making ADCOM911 one of the largest and busiest emergency-call centers in the state of Colorado.  

With the cooperation of General Dynamics C4 Systems and the award of a $12.1 million grant from the federal government, ADCOM911 will provide a 4G LTE radio access network covering 1,400 square miles in Adams County and portions of Denver County. The system will be capable of supporting more than 2,000 first responders daily, operating on next-generation technology and smart devices.

Discuss this Blog Entry 5

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 30, 2014

Looks like Adams County got duped into a wireless solution that is only part of the opportunity to be realized. What happens to a wireless device when it runs out of power?

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jun 5, 2014

What happens to a mobile radio when it runs out of power? Same thing. What's your point?

on Jun 3, 2014

I am very interested in finding out more specific details about the design and operational requirements of this system at this time? Also, it would be interesting to know what the timeline looks like for operational use of the system and the device types that will be deployed and when. Is there any information available about the demonstation and where / how it can be seen?

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jun 6, 2014

At the communication center in commerce city. 7321 birch st

on Jun 7, 2014

If I recall correctly, originally IP Wireless was to provide TDD-LTE equipment. Has this now (under GD) been changed to FDD-LTE in the whole band?

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