Top 5 stories: Week of Aug. 22-28
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 last week.
- “Rockwell Collins announces plans to offer nationwide disaster communications via HF radio” – Rockwell Collins announced plans for a nationwide high-frequency radio network, ARINC UrgentLink, which is designed to provide communications between public-safety and critical infrastructure bodies when typical communication infrastructure is inoperable due to natural or man-made disaster. Rockwell Collins has a pilot HF Radio network running at a large sheriff’s department currently, and the system will be available to other public-safety agencies within a year, said Dave Chapman, Rockwell Collins product manager.’
- “Cybersecurity could be the biggest challenge for FirstNet, next-gen 911” – IWCE’s Urgent Communications Editor Donny Jackson details the various developments in next-generation 911 and warns of the potential challenges those advances can pose to cybersecurity as FirstNet moves forward with its national broadband network. With the technologies all being based on IP standards, the ongoing concern is cybersecurity. Jackson writes, “These characteristics allow the technologies to provide users with unprecedented interoperability and access to myriad databases at a fraction of the cost of legacy hardware-based communications systems, which is a great thing. It also means that bad software code can cause the system to malfunction or for data to be compromised.”
- “Prince George’s County, Md., partners with Motorola Solutions on NG911-ready communications center, construction of new public-safety complex” – A county once labeled as the “donut hole” in emergency communications interoperability in the Washington, D.C. region now houses a state-of-the-art facility equipped with Motorola’s 700 MHz, P25 radio system, a call center with 63 dispatch stations and a designated training room for future emergency dispatchers. Prince George’s County, Md., partnered with Motorola on the construction of the Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications Center. The technology company and county officials will also open a public-safety complex encompassing a 911 backup center, emergency management and emergency-operations center in the fall.
- “FirstNet plans to release cybersecurity information this fall, Kennedy says”– FirstNet will release its cybersecurity strategy by the fall, FirstNet President TJ Kennedy said during a panel discussion at the APCO 2015 show. The topic of cybersecurity was a major focal point of FirstNet’s Industry Day event. “We need to make sure that we think about human factors in the public-safety environment and making sure that cybersecurity is very, very usable,” Kennedy said. “In my days as a state trooper, I can’t imagine being in a highway-patrol Mustang and trying to worry about 12-digit, upper-case/lower-case, special-character password. We can’t do that. We need to make sure that we’re leveraging authentication and data access management in a public-safety environment, where folks like firefighters who wear gloves can do their job, where paramedics who are wearing gloves can do their job, where police officers who need to execute what they’re doing while driving a vehicle can do their job.”
- “FCC Chairman Wheeler says Congress should help fund next-gen 911 rollout, mapping and cybersecurity resources” – FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler described the adoption of next-generation 911 (NG911) as “too slow and too raged” during an address delivered during the APCO 2015 show. Wheeler applauded APCO and other local and state officials for their efforts to comply with FCC’s standards and transition from legacy 911 to NG911, but, he said, there is much more work to be done. Wheeler opined that Congress should develop legislation to amend 20-year-old 911 laws “in a way that reflects the changing realities on the ground.” In addition to legislation, Congress’ laws should put a stop to the practice of states using appropriated 911 funds for other general fund shortfalls, Wheeler said.