Top 5 stories: Week of July 13-July 17
Here's a look at the most popular stories on IWCE's Urgent Communications from last week.
Here’s a look at the most popular stories on IWCE’s Urgent Communications from the last week:
- “FirstNet responses to draft-RFP queries provide some insight into potential plans, leave many questions unanswered” – FirstNet recently released a 217-page response to 666 questions associated with its draft RFP documents, largely reinforcing its openness to consider varied approaches to address the organization’s public-safety broadband mission. Although the responses included some potentially key insights for prospective partners, many critical questions will not be answered until later.
- “Michigan jurisdictions happy with VESTA Radio for regional P25 system, prepare for ISSI interoperability” – Detroit-area public-safety personnel utilizing the regional P25 network for the Downriver Mutual Aid (DMA) region are pleased with the coverage and flexibility Airbus Communication’s VESTA Radio system has brought forth in its first year-and-half of service, according to DMA officials. Bob Heck, system administrator for DMA, said the P25 system has 100% portable coverage, which is what led the district to build its own LMR network, instead of joining the statewide radio system that guaranteed only mobile coverage. The primary issue that remains is interoperability with the state radio system “We have an ISSI. We aren’t using it. We’ve talked with the state several times, and I just don’t know if they’re ready to roll out an ISSI on their end or if they just don’t want the expense of an ISSI—I don’t know,” Heck said. “We’re ready to go whenever they are. We want to interoperate with the state and anybody that’s in our area on a public-safety network that’s willing to interoperate with us.”
- “LA-RICS works toward September public-safety LTE deadline, opponents still claim RF-emissions danger”– Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) still plans for its public-safety LTE deployment to be completed by late September. LA-RICS LTE deployment, one of the first and largest early-builders to give insight for FirstNet nationwide public-safety network, has made progress with 14 of almost 80 LTE sites completed and 20 sites under construction, said LA-RICS Executive Director Patrick Mallon. There are lingering concerns from opponents who have protested the buildout, claiming that the cell sites radio-frequency (RF) emissions could lead to cancer. Mallon contends that the emissions do not come close to surpassing the FCC limits nor pose a cancer-causing threat.
- “ help man with gun in house’: six years of text-to-911 service” – Intrado Mobility Division General Manager John Kearney reflects on the first successful test of a text-to-911 message sent via Black Hawk County, Iowa, Consolidated Communications Center on June 9, 2009. Intrado has helped 500 public-safety answering points (PSAPs) send texts to 911 since that text was sent six years ago.
- “Cost, coverage will be key to public-safety adoption of FirstNet, state official says” – During an IWCE “State of the States” webinar, speakers representing Connecticut, Minnesota and California shared their views on FirstNet. Alhough FirstNet is expected to deploy a nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety, cost and coverage will still determine whether first-responder entities decide to subscribe to the network. “When we’re talking with our stakeholders about what they are looking for in a FirstNet network, they talk about coverage,” Jackie Mines, the single point of contact (SPOC) for the state of Minnesota, said during the webinar. “Coverage that we don’t have today from commercial providers is really important to more rural areas, … as well as keeping that cost relatively static with what commercial providers offer.”