Communications are crucial for public safety. Next-generation public-safety technologies are providing more state-of-the-art solutions that are helping to make mission-critical communications simpler, more effective and more efficient for first responders. That steady drive toward next-generation solutions also is bringing with it the need for dedicated spectrum for a nationwide broadband network controlled by public safety.

The public-safety community is united in its belief that D Block airwaves should be used for this broadband network. Allocating the D Block to public safety is the only way to ensure a reliable, robust broadband network that meets the needs of modern first responders throughout the United States.

Public safety needs to construct and oversee a wireless network of its own. Having 10 MHz of spectrum is not enough for public safety — especially in major metropolitan areas, where public safety needs more than that amount on a daily basis for broadband-enabled devices. The first-responder community believes that the FCC needs to give public safety an additional 10 MHz of spectrum in the adjacent D Block to ensure that law enforcement has reliable and secure systems to communicate at all times, particularly during major emergencies.

Real-time, accurate information is more crucial than ever for public safety, and leveraging increasingly sophisticated ways to collect that data is essential to success. Public-safety agencies nationwide are embracing next-generation technology, which enables first responders to realize true mobile broadband connection speeds and to access rich-media applications from advanced collaborative data devices.

These solutions maximize operational effectiveness by converging voice, image, data and video communications from a multimedia, integrated command center and extend the reach of existing mission-critical communications networks. With stronger networks and greater capabilities, public-safety agencies can supplement voice with rich data and video content to empower first responders with the best information when and where it matters most to best serve and protect the community.

Solutions that provide real-time information about a situation through access to multiple databases and platforms from within one robust application enhance interoperability, information-sharing, collaboration and much more. This helps connect critical resources across agencies and jurisdictions, and between mission-critical two-way and broadband networks.

The future holds endless possibilities for new, innovative technologies. Through open and frequent dialogue, along with continued collaboration, the emergency response community and industry can influence the FCC and Congress to act in the best interest of public safety and allocate the D Block for a dedicated broadband network to aid our first responders.

What do you think? Tell us in the comment box below.

Mark Moon is senior vice president of worldwide field operations for the Enterprise Mobility Solutions business of Motorola.

Related Stories