Top 5 stories: Week of Nov. 28- Dec.4
Here's a look at the most popular content on IWCE’s Urgent Communications from last week.
Here’s a look at the most popular content on IWCE’s Urgent Communications from last week:
- “Scenes from APCO Emerging Technology Forum, Nov. 17-18” – A gallery of photos from last month’s Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Emerging Technology Forum held at the Ritz Carlton in Atlanta. The gallery features photos from sessions presented by FirstNet’s President T.J. Kennedy, Mark Tesh, senior product manager for Harris, and Col. James M. Wolfinbarger (RET) with Smart Public Safety Solutions, Motorola Solutions, among others.
- “South Carolina county’s P25 radio system provides seamless communications, interoperability during historic flood” – Charleston County Sheriff’s Department radio communications sustained virtually uninterrupted service due to proper preparation and its P25 radio network during October’s historic flood, according to a county official. The county’s ASTRO 25 radio network from Motorola Solutions received 275,000 first-responders calls, and only nine calls received a busy signal, Bill Tunick, director of radio and telecom for the county, said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “In these very rural areas at the border, where you wouldn’t really expect to have good radio or cellular coverage, this is where the rescues were taking place. The ability to use your radio reliably in those instances—it saved lives. There’s no question about it.”
- “Next week’s meetings could set stage for potentially transformative year in public-safety communications” – Many questions remain surrounding the deployment of FirstNet and next-generation 911 (NG911) systems, but many of these queries may be answered during the next year—beginning with potentially significant meetings that will be conducted this week, according to IWCE Urgent Communications Editor Donny Jackson. Jackson’s blog identifies a series of key aspects that will be developed further in 2016, including mission-critical voice over LTE, indoor-location technologies and NG911. “Clearly, there are more questions than answers at the moment. But we are on track to get an awful lot of answers in a relatively short amount of time, beginning with the meetings during the next two weeks. The results may be the launching point to a dramatic transformation of public-safety communications—not only in the United States but throughout the entire world—or they may show that these ideas simply are not ready for primetime. No matter what the outcome is, it should be fascinating to watch,” Jackson writes.
- “Los Angeles city, county wrestle over federal grant money earmarked for LA-RICS P25 system” – Members of the Los Angeles City Council recently voted unanimously to end the city’s membership in Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS), which has built the first phase of a public-safety LTE network and planned to deploy a P25 land-mobile-radio (LMR) network in the region during the next few years. Without the city as a member of LA-RICS, the county is by far the biggest member of LA-RICS and financially responsible for much of the organization’s budget. The city ending membership in LA-RICS will undermine the efforts to build the P25 system, according to a letter from the county’s board of supervisors addressed to Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office. “It is our view that the mayor’s office should be working collaboratively with the authority and the county to address any questions the mayor’s office has with the authority’s ability to spend UASI  grant funds in a timely fashion. The UASI  grant funds have been expended, encumbered, allocated and/or obligated for work related to designing and constructing the LMR system, and most of those funds have already been allocated for third-party project-management staffing, design and environmental work.”
- “FCC Rosenworcel says non-service-initialized (NSI) phone policy for calling 911 should be changed” – Non-service-initialized (NSI) cell phones—devices that that are not subscribed to a wireless carrier—should no longer be able to dial 911 as they are today, because circumstances have changed significantly since the policy was established almost 20 years ago, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said during the recent APCO Emerging Technology Forum in Atlanta. “So, the technology and times have changed, but our rules stay the same. And, in the interim, this has become a source of harassment,” Rosenworcel said during a question-and-answer session at the APCO event. “People now use these non-service-initialized phones to waste the time, energy and expertise of our 911 call centers.