9News.com Reports: Underwater drone to help with Summit County rescue missions

The Summit Country Sheriff’s Office is the first in Colorado to use an underwater drone to help in their investigations. At the Dillon Reservoir, deputies with the Summit County Sheriff Department are training with something new for their underwater missions.

“This is really a unique thing,” Sergeant Mark Watson said. It’s a Remote Operated Vehicle, or ROV Underwater System. Read article here.


Official: Some Agencies in North Carolina ‘Scared’ of FirstNet

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -— Some public safety agencies in North Carolina, particularly small agencies in rural areas, are “scared”  of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and are unlikely to subscribe anytime soon to the service that AT&T, Inc., FirstNet’s network partner, is offering, a state official said here today.

The comments came at the North Carolina Public Safety Broadband Summit, which was held in conjunction with the 2018 Connectivity Expo, which was organized by the Wireless Infrastructure Association. “In certain parts of North Carolina, I don’t think they’re ready, so they’re scared,” Gregory Hauser, North Carolina’s statewide interoperability coordinator, said during a session this afternoon. He said that feeling is particularly prevalent in rural areas.

“For now in North Carolina … this is going to be a metro advancement,” Mr. Hauser said of FirstNet subscribership, citing major cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro.

Asked what the concerns were for public safety agencies in rural areas, he said “coverage” and cost were the two largest. “We’re going to need some help,” Mr. Hauser said of the cost issue, adding that grant or other funding would be necessary for some agencies.

“We’re going to get there. I think we all realize that,” he added. “How we get there is going to be pretty painful.” Continue reading

AT&T Reps Highlight Benefits of FirstNet Offering

CHARLOTTE, N.C. –— AT&T, Inc., representatives, including former Boston police commissioner Ed Davis, argued today that AT&T’s public safety broadband offering for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is far superior than any other option available to public safety agencies, and Mr. Davis suggested that police agencies will choose FirstNet because they “follow the law.”

Mr. Davis, an AT&T consultant, and Chad Tucker, a FirstNet consultant manager for AT&T, discussed AT&T’s offering during a keynote session this morning at the 2018 Connectivity Expo, which was organized by the Wireless Infrastructure Association. AT&T’s FirstNet brand is featured prominently at the show here this week. It is a sponsor of the overall show, and the collocated North Carolina Public Safety Broadband Summit.

Mr. Davis stressed the benefits that the FirstNet system would have provided it if had been available after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, including offering priority and preemption for first responders when cellular networks were overloaded as well as broadband access and interoperability. He also said that the network will allow public safety agencies to take advantage of the innovation of a Fortune 500 company.  “There has never been a research and development arm of policing in the United States,” he added.

Mr. Tucker suggested that AT&T’s preemption is being done in a way that no one else is doing, even though Verizon Communications, Inc., also offers priority service and preemption for its public safety broadband offering that is competing with that of AT&T’s for FirstNet. Mr. Tucker also stressed that AT&T has a “dedicated core,” for public safety, “not a virtual core,” and “end-to-end encryption.” Continue reading

CBRS Progress Outlined on Standards, Certification, Brand

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) advocates today outlined progress that has been made on developing standards, a certification program, and a commercial brand to deploy devices in the 3.5 gigahertz band, even though spectrum access systems (SASs) and environmental sensing capability (ESC) databases have not yet been approved by the FCC and the Commission is considering modifying its rules for priority access licenses (PALs).

The Wireless Innovation Forum and the CBRS Alliance held a workshop here this afternoon in conjunction with the 2018 Connectivity Expo, which was organized by the Wireless Infrastructure Association.

The technology-neutral WInnForum has developed 10 standards to facilitate the baseline deployment of commercial operations in the CBRS spectrum (TR Daily, Jan. 31), while the alliance, which is focused on CBRS use cases and business opportunities, has established a certification program for LTE equipment using the band and the OnGo brand (TR Daily, May 8). Representatives at today’s workshop said the groups complement each other. Continue reading

Pai, Minow Call for Moving Ahead on Telemedicine

In an op-ed article in the “Boston Globe” today, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and former Chairman Newton Minow highlighted the benefits of telemedicine for rural areas and the obstacle that the digital divide poses to achieving those benefits.  “It’s time we integrated communications technology into our health care system just as fully as we have in other parts of our lives,” they wrote.

They added, “Both of us have different perspectives and may disagree on many issues and policies at the FCC. But on the importance of developing telemedicine, we share the same determination to move forward. Recent advances in communications technology could enable millions of Americans to live healthier, longer lives. Achieving that result requires forward-thinking policies on telemedicine. We’re firmly committed to helping America adopt those policies and bringing our health care system more fully into the digital age.”

Courtesy TRDaily


DHS Releases FY 2018 Grant Funding Notice

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen today announced the release of fiscal year 2018 notices of funding opportunity for eight preparedness grant programs totaling more than $1.6 billion. The funding includes $402 million for the State Homeland Security Program and $580 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative.


PSAP Service Outage Notification Recommendations Completed

The Alliance for Telecommunication Industry Solutions Network Reliability Steering Committee, in conjunction with the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International, the National Association of State 911 Administrators, and the National Emergency Number Association, today announced the completion of recommendations to improve carrier notifications to public safety answering points (PSAPs) in the event of service outages.

“The document is specifically intended to guide providers of all types that report service impacting outages to the PSAP community. In addition, this effort is intended to educate the public safety community on the types of outages that may occur and the information that may be available from the provider,” according to an ATIS news release. “The goal was to create a template to deliver the necessary information that is consistent in nature to ease consumption by the PSAP while providing information that is pertinent and actionable.  A separate work effort will include Best Practices for collecting, managing, and utilizing PSAP and carrier contact information to ensure timely delivery of outage-related information.”

“This resource presents consensus-driven expert insight to help service providers and Public Safety organizations communicate critical information in the rare event that an outage occurs,” said ATIS President and Chief Executive Officer Susan Miller. “The template and definitions contained within are the product of a working group that includes representation from carriers, third party providers, 9-1-1 industry associations, and the PSAP community.”

“APCO is pleased to have collaborated with industry representatives and colleagues in public safety to achieve a consensus-based resource for wireless service outage notifications,” said APCO Executive Director and CEO Derek Poarch. “This effort will standardize the content and presentation of outage reports in a manner that will greatly benefit PSAPs. Public safety telecommunicators will receive timely, easily understood, and actionable information to assist them with carrying out their life-saving missions.”

“NASNA is pleased to have had the opportunity to work alongside APCO, NENA and the members of the ATIS Network Reliability Steering Committee to help improve the outage notification process,” said NASNA Executive Director Evelyn Bailey. “The new process standardizes the format of outage notifications and gives 9-1-1 authorities and PSAPs clear information so that they know what, if anything, they need to do.”

“NENA is enthused at these significant improvements to the wireless service outage notification process and at the collaborative spirit of the public safety and industry organizations involved,” said NENA CEO Brian Fontes. “This effort gives PSAPs and telecommunicators access to clear, standardized information on service outages; a result that will undoubtedly save lives and improve 9-1-1.”- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily