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September is National Preparedness Month

By Amanda Murphy

September is National Preparedness month, which serves as a reminder to prepare for emergencies that could affect us at home, work, and where we visit. At Ready.gov, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has printable plans available to help you, your family, and your community plan for staying safe and communicating during emergency situations. 

Whitepaper: How FirstNet Can Better Prepare the U.S. for Crisis Response

By Amanda Murphy

A white paper released this week by Mutualink details how FirstNet will assist in preparing the U.S. for future crisis situations. The paper, titled Lessons Learned from Global Attacks: How FirstNet Can Better Prepare the U.S. for Crisis Response, uses research from large-scale crisis events around the world to determine patterns. These patterns revealed recurring problems hindering first responders and include communication breakdowns among responding agencies, overcrowded cellular networks, and a lack of real-time information sharing at the scene.

Census Shows Home Broadband Adoption Improving in the U.S., Despite Persistent Gaps

By Chris McGovern

The United States Census Bureau recently released data from its 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) showing that home Internet access and broadband adoption are climbing in the United States, albeit slowly. Overall, the ACS data shows that 77% of Americans have some sort of broadband service at home. That includes 6% of Americans who subscribe only to mobile service at home.

Public Safety Communications in the Post 9/11 Era

By Amanda Murphy

The First Responder Network Authority, known as FirstNet, has released a video series of first responders sharing their visions for the future of public safety communications. The nationwide public safety communication network that FirstNet is working to deploy was prompted by the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2011. The 9/11 Commission recommended a dedicated first responder network to aid efficiency and timeliness during tragic events.

FCC Seeks Comments on State Opt-Out Procedure

By Amanda Murphy

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently released a Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that takes steps toward clearing current use of Band 14 spectrum for FirstNet’s use. The Report and Order gives a deadline of August 13, 2017, for public safety officials currently using this radio space now licensed for the nationwide public safety LTE network to relocate to other frequencies. FirstNet is assisting with relocation efforts through its created grant program by providing $40 million in funding.

Mobile Data and Social Media’s Importance for First Responders

By Amanda Murphy

The immediacy that social media and handheld Internet access provides can be quite helpful in public safety situations. First responders often use mobile data for real-time information for themselves, as well as to share public safety information with the public as quickly as possible. Technology even allows for live feeds from an incident, giving citizens the most current information possible.

Iowa FirstNet Public Private Partnership Summit

By Amanda Murphy

The Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board, along with FirstNet and the Iowa Communications Network, will be hosting a public private partnership summit on Thursday, August 25. The event will be a discussion with representatives from the public and private sector interested in the FirstNet initiative.

This event will be broadcast live on the web starting at 1:00 p.m. Central Time.

Register for the Online Summit

 

Get Up to Speed on FirstNet

By Amanda Murphy

If you’re looking to get up to speed on the planned build-out of FirstNet, a recent Q&A article from American City and County has you covered. Here are a few key takeaways:

Wireless Communications Capacity is Necessary for Large Events

By Amanda Murphy

With current wireless technology, networks quickly get overloaded in large, emergency situations. The same is true for events with large crowds, which is another reason public safety officials are looking forward to FirstNet’s national communications network dedicated for first responders. 

FCC Releases Broadband and Health Interactive Mapping Tool

By Amanda Murphy

The Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2Health Task Force has launched a broadband and health interactive map. The new tool, titled Mapping Broadband Health in America, allows users to analyze broadband and health data visually, and at a national, state, and county level. The map is intended for use by both public and private sectors, and local communities, as a tool to drive discussion, to identify opportunities and gaps in connectivity and health care, and to assist broadband health policies and digital health solutions.

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