Top 5 stories: Week of Nov. 17 – 21
1. “Public-safety groups split on carrier location-accuracy accord for indoor 911 calls from cell phones” – Two key public-safety organizations – the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) – have reached an agreement with the four major wireless carriers on indoor location accuracy for wireless 911 calls. The consensus comes at a key moment, as the Federal Communications Commission tees up the issue. The deal was seen as a significant step toward establishing rules on location accuracy, but that doesn’t mean all public-safety groups praised the deal.
2. “Congressional subcommittee pushes for FirstNet timelines, more SWICs” – FirstNet’s acting general manager, T.J. Kennedy, recently testified before the U.S. House Homeland Security’s subcommittee on emergency preparedness, response and communications. The timing of the state consultation process and the importance of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (SWICs) headlined the hearing. “I think our folks in the state are getting just a little bit leery of the message that FirstNet is coming. We need to get it here,” Mark A. Grubb, director of communications for the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the state’s SWIC and the single point of contact (SPOC) for FirstNet, said during the hearing.
3.“FirstNet devotes half its budget to RFP development” – The agency dedicated to building the first nationwide public-safety broadband network will spend $42.5 million on developing the much-anticipated request for proposals. That document is expected to be publicly released next year.
4.“Pacific DataVision, EWA ask FCC to transform 900 MHz LMR spectrum to broadband use” – PDV and the EWA have submitted a petition to the FCC that would create a contiguous 3X3 MHz swath supporting wireless broadband services for enterprise dispatch. Is such a realignment the only way to satisfy emerging demands for new technologies? One player thinks so. “It has become increasingly difficult for the FCC to identify ‘greenfield’ spectrum to meet important new requirements of its enterprise constituents,” PDV Vice Chairman Morgan O’Brien said in a statement. “Realignments and repurposing of existing allocations are today’s only practical way of addressing these needs.”
5.“Elgin leverages public, private video assets through Motorola Solutions’ real-time intelligence console” – Officers working for a police department in a Chicago suburb no longer have to physically track down video surveillance footage. Video cameras are now aggregated onto one platform and displayed on a map, which the Elgin Police Chief says has greatly increased his department’s access to the footage.