KANSAS CITY—EFJohnson Technologies introduced a ruggedized access point designed for use by police, fire and rescue agencies for point-to-point or point-to-multipoint broadband communications. The access point meets the IP66 standard for protection against water spray and the FIPS 140-2 secure data specification. It offers both DES and AES—128-bit and 256-bit—encryption.

The access point operates in the 2.4 GHz, 4.9 GHz and 5.8 GHz bands. “That’s nice for [public safety], having that flexibility available to them,” said Annabel Gutierrez, senior product manager.

The device’s security capabilities also are important to public-safety agencies, according to Gutierrez. “Especially when there’s incident management,” she said. “You don’t want the media and other sources to be able to hear what’s going on.”

Gutierrez said the company’s public-safety customers have been asking for a 4.9 GHz product and predicted that other sectors will be interested—for instance, universities and colleges in the wake of shooting incidents at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois. “Any place where there might be some form of terrorism—I think we’ll see deployments on campuses and around banking,” she said.

Company spokesman Kevin Nolan said the company is excited about the new product, because it gives EFJohnson something else to offer its public-safety customers. “People who know us for our radios will be surprised that we have a pretty good broadband offering,” he said.

That’s because the company has been producing wireless broadband access points for the U.S. Navy, Nolan said. “We’re taking what we’ve been producing for the military and putting it into a public-safety environment. It was a natural fit,” he said.

The device’s ruggedness is a direct result of the company’s work with the Navy, Nolan said. “It can withstand so many different types of weather. … It can take a beating.”

The 4.9 GHz access points have been beta tested and should be available for orders by Q4, Nolan said, adding that pricing still is being determined.