Denver Post Reports: Can a button save a life?

Uber think its new in-app 911 feature, being tested in Denver this summer, could be a needed lifeline for passengers

Transportation tech giant Uber will pilot a new feature of its popular ride-sharing app in Denver this summer: 911 integration. Announced Thursday in a blog post by CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, the pilot program will rely on an emergency button that Uber will soon add to its mobile app. The button, which will be available to riders and drivers, will connect the user directly with emergency dispatchers if activated. In Denver, it will go one step farther, automatically sharing the vehicle’s location and trip details with dispatchers.

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SAFECOM-NCSWIC Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2018 Newsletter Released

The SAFECOM-NCSWIC Quarterly Newsletter was published on April 18, 2018. In this edition of the newsletter, Ron Hewitt, Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) Director, provides an update on OEC’s partnership with the National Governors Association to enhance public safety communications governance through regional workshops and the Communications Section Task Force’s recent achievements in working to elevate the communications function to a Communications Section within the General staff. Updates were also provided by Chief Gerald Reardon, SAFECOM Chair, and Nikki Cassingham, National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) Chair. The newsletter highlights telecommunications successes during the 2017 hurricane season and the Fiscal Year 2018 SAFECOM Grant Guidance.

SAFECOM-NCSWIC Blog. The blog recently highlighted OEC’s participation at the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE), National Telecommunicator Day, and the recent publication of the Public Safety Communications Resiliency—Ten Keys to Obtaining a Resilient Local Access Network document.

 The SAFECOM-NCSWIC Blog serves as a great tool for information sharing and dissemination.  On the blog, we highlight current events, activities, accomplishments, updates, opinion pieces, and innovative ideas from the SAFECOM and NCSWIC community.  If you have relevant public safety communications information you would like to share with the public safety stakeholder community, please send ideas to the SAFECOM Inbox or NCSWIC Inbox.


Entities Seek Extension of 911 NOI Reply Comment Deadline

Public safety and industry entities have asked the FCC to extend by one week the reply comment deadline for a notice of inquiry adopted last month looking at ways to ensure that 911 calls placed from mobile phones reach the correct public safety answering point (PSAP) (TR Daily, March 22). Comments are due May 7 and replies June 21 in PS docket 18-64. In a joint motion for an extension filed yesterday seeking an extension of the reply comment deadline to June 28, the entities cited the timing of the National Emergency Number Association’s annual conference in Nashville June 16-21.

“Granting a one-week extension of time will allow these critical stakeholders time to review, analyze, and comment on all of the comments in the record, without direct time constraint conflicts between preparing NOI reply comments regarding location-based routing for wireless 9-1-1 calls and other 9-1-1 efforts associated with the NENA Conference.,” the filing argued. The filing was submitted by NENA, the National Association of State 9-1-1 Administrators, the Texas 9-1-1 Entities, West Safety Services, Inc., Comtech Communications, Inc., and CTIA.

Courtesy TRDailly

Coalition Emphasizes Homeland Security Importance of 3.5 GHz Band

Members of the Industrial Internet of Things Coalition have asked the FCC to consider the impact on “national and homeland security” of the rules it adopts for priority access licenses (PALs) in the 3.5 gigahertz band Citizens Broadband Radio Service.

In an ex parte filing yesterday in GN docket 17-258, the entities emphasized the importance of the FCC’s licensing the spectrum in small enough geographic areas for them to be useful to industrial and critical-infrastructure entities.

“Thus, as the Commission considers different CBRS licensing approaches in this proceeding, the IIoT Coalition urges it to weigh the effects of its policy choices on U.S. national and homeland security,” the filing said. “If industrial and critical-infrastructure companies are able to compete in auctions for census-tract licenses and gain meaningful access to licensed CBRS spectrum, these companies can realize the full benefits of the IIoT revolution, including improved safety, security, and system resilience at America’s critical-infrastructure facilities. With a full understanding of the complexity of their own operations, industrial and critical-infrastructure entities will be able to employ essential IIoT security, device, and network control features to further safeguard their core-mission operations from foreign and domestic hacking efforts and cyber intrusions, to the great benefit of the American public.” Continue reading

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, April 19, 2018

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FirstNet Seeks Expressions of Interest for Board

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is seeking expressions of interest to serve on its board. They must be postmarked or e-mailed to by May 21. “One of the 12 appointments of nonpermanent members to the FirstNet Board, expiring August 2019, is currently vacant,” noted a “Federal Register” notice issued by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration today on behalf of FirstNet.

“Additionally, four of the 12 appointments of nonpermanent members to the FirstNet Board expire in August 2018, creating a total of five available appointments to the FirstNet Board.”

Courtesy TRDaily


FCC Official Stresses Importance of 4.9 GHz Band Utilization

The chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau today stressed the importance of the 4.9 gigahertz band being widely utilized, which she stressed that it hasn’t so far. Last month, Republican FCC Commissioners emphasized the potential benefit of repurposing the band for commercial purposes, or at least opening it up to additional usage, citing the fact that the spectrum has not been heavily used since the Commission made it available for public safety agencies in 2002 (TR Daily, March 22).

Their comments came as Commissioners unanimously adopted a sixth further notice of proposed rulemaking in WP docket 07-100 seeking views on ways to promote more intensive use of the 4940-4990 megahertz band.

During luncheon remarks this afternoon at the annual meeting of the Land Mobile Communications Council, Lisa Fowlkes said that “public safety’s use of the 4.9 GHz band has fallen short of its potential. The further notice seeks ways to reverse this trend.”

Among the options the FCC is seeking comments on are extending use of the band to utilities are repurposing it for commercial use, she noted. “But let me be clear: all options for this band are on the table, except … for the option of allowing underutilization of the band to continue,” she said. “It is important that we hear from the LMCC and its members on the proposals and options.” Continue reading