GAO report: Public-safety broadband network lacks crucial functions
From Information Week: A plan to create a nationwide broadband network for public safety uses technology that has limitations that will require the use of the current system for at least the next 10 years, according to the Government Accountability Office, the government’s watchdog agency.
While a new public-safety broadband network will provide more interoperability that will let first responders better coordinate efforts, it won’t have the same mission-critical voice capabilities that current land-mobile radio (LMR) systems have had for quite some time, according to a recently released report by the GAO.
This means the current system of LMR systems — which are expensive and limited in their range — will have to be used concurrently even once the mobile broadband network is place, the report found.
The report comes as another report extols the benefits of the network to improve communication for first responders. A report by the president’s Council of Economic Advisers said the network will make the work of first responders more effective by ensuring they always have an interoperable communication channel, according to a White House blog post.