Top 5 stories: Week of Oct.17-23
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’s Urgent Communications from last week.
- “FirstNet’s latest legal interpretations make opt-out alternative less appealing to states, territories” –IWCE’s Urgent Communications Editor Donny Jackson discusses how a recent release of FirstNet’s legal interpretations has created a cloud of doubt over the practicality of the “opt-out” alternative for states. The political risks and financial burden of the opt-out alternative could be undesirable to the governors that ultimately make the final decision , Jackson writes. “Many state officials initially found the opt-out alternative appealing, because they perceived that it would give the state and territory greater control over the public-safety broadband network in the jurisdiction. However, if an opt-out state has to adhere to FirstNet’s network policies, that level of control has been called into question.”
- “Motorola Solutions unveils end-to-end body-worn camera solution for public safety” – Motorola announced its solution for body-worn cameras that features a combined camera/radio speaker microphone in a single device, video management and data-storage system on Microsoft’s Azure Government cloud platform. “Agencies told us over and over again that they really like the idea of having all of these different functionalities in a single device,” Ron Toth, Motorola Solutions’ global product manager, said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “So, it makes the device easier for the officer to use and manage—it’s less for them to worry about. Consolidating audio and video into a single device really makes it a lot more simple solution for the officer.” The system is part of the Smart Interface (Si) series of devices, Toth said.
- “Congress grants five-year extension for LA-RICS, other BTOP grant recipients ” –Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) has secured a five-year extension from Congress that will let it and other Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant recipients utilize unspent funds through fiscal year 2020. For LA-RICS, the five-year extension is particularly significant, because it would mean the agency can spend more than $50 million in federal grants during that period of time. Several details regarding the extension, including which BTOP grant recipients could benefit from the extension, still linger.
- “SchoolSAFE active shooter drills show schools systems the power of interoperability during a crisis” – In Colorado and Ohio, school faculty and students recently participated in active shooter drills utilizing SchoolSAFE Communications, a web-based, two-way radio system that provides advanced communications interoperability between school systems and public-safety answering points (PSAPs). “It [active shootings] seems to be an everyday clip. Our president’s talking about it. Cities, counties, schools and governments are all talking about it,” SchoolSAFE President Patrick Hobby said in an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “This isn’t just a quick app for someone to click on. This is a tried, tested, solid and robust system of licensed two-way radios. You can’t be fumbling around with radios when you think there are two [shooters] on the roof.”
- “Sanders is wrong – Clinton’s cybersecurity blunder is a “real issue facing America” – Homeland Security expert James Norton explains the implications of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server scandal, which her Democratic presidential race opponent Sen. Bernie Sanders painted as something Americans were “sick and tired of hearing about.” Norton states that Americans may have grown tired of the politicizing of Clinton’s e-mail decision, but the impact of the cybersecurity risk has not fully been realized. Norton writes: “As the Associated Press reported, Clinton’s e-mail server could be accessed over an open Internet connection and controlled remotely, making the server—and the sensitive national security information it stored—vulnerable to 'attacks from even low-skilled intruders.' Indeed, a hacker using a computer in Serbia scanned Clinton’s server no less than two times. Clinton was either unaware of the risks or chose to accept them…”