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FirstNet Releases Cyber Security Special Notice, Aims To Build Usability, Security Early into NPSBN

October 6, 2015

By TJ Kennedy, FirstNet President
FirstNet recognizes that both usability and security will be equally important to the success of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). Fortunately, we have the opportunity to implement security at the outset, so that the data, privacy, and operational security of the future users of the network, the nation’s first responders, and the people they are serving are protected upon launch.

New Research Details Ways to Improve Voice Quality of Emergency Communications

October 5, 2015

This blog is a repost from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration website, originally posted September 2015.
September 30, 2015 by Keith Gremban, Director of the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
One of the most challenging aspects of public safety communications is maintaining audio quality in the harsh noise environments in which fire fighters, police officers and other first responders operate. The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), a federation of public safety organizations, has identified audio quality as a critical requirement, noting that first responders have an immediate and sometimes life-and-death need to understand exactly what is being communicated during an emergency. Today, the Institute for Telecommunications Sciences (ITS), NTIA’s research laboratory in Boulder, Colo., has released a new report that describes an effort to identify which digital speech and audio technologies are best-suited for mission-critical voice communications over a fourth generation (4G) wireless network using cellular infrastructure.

Indiana Consultation Provides First Look at State’s Initial Data Collection and Analysis

September 30, 2015

By Dave Buchanan, Director of State Consultation
Indiana’s initial consultation meeting provided FirstNet with one of its first opportunities to hear an in-depth presentation of a state’s public safety data collection efforts. Indiana has been working hard to collect and analyze its data before officially submitting it to FirstNet. The more than 40 participants at the meeting last month were able to better understand what they have and what data is still needed from stakeholders. FirstNet will use data from states and territories to inform its Request for Proposal being prepared for the deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) and the development of Indiana’s state plan.

Illinois Consultation Explores NPSBN Possibilities from Various Disciplines’ Perspectives

September 28, 2015

By Jeremy Zollo, Deputy Director of State Consultation
The Illinois Initial Consultation Meeting provided FirstNet with a detailed look at how Illinois is using data applications across disciplines and departments and how FirstNet could support and improve those efforts. With 60 stakeholders from local, state, federal, and private entities gathered in Springfield, discussions focused on state needs and coverage objectives.

R&D by NIST and Partners Yields New Standard for Safer Ambulances

Equipping Volunteer Responders with Broadband Technologies

September 23, 2015

This blog was written by Vicki Lee, FirstNet Association Manager and posted onto the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) website.
FirstNet has been charged by Congress to build, operate, and maintain the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. Knowing those that we serve at FirstNet is all too important.

Kansas Consultation Shows the Importance of State Input and Data Collection

September 22, 2015

By Dave Buchanan, Director of State Consultation
With low-lying areas of south-central Kansas experiencing flooding from heavy rains, 60 state and local government and public safety professionals gathered in Topeka for the state’s Initial Consultation Meeting with FirstNet earlier this year.

FirstNet Board Members, CEO Visit Technical Headquarters in Boulder

September 18, 2015

By Jeff Bratcher, Acting Chief Technology Officer
The FirstNet Chief Technology Office (CTO), Program Management Office, and User Advocacy teams hosted members of the FirstNet Board and leadership team at our technical headquarters last week in Boulder, CO, to discuss a range of topics, including CTO staffing, cyber security, and our work on the upcoming Request for Proposal(s) (RFP).  We also had the opportunity to participate in Band 14 LTE technology demonstrations conducted by the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Program at the U.S. Department of Commerce labs across town.

Connecticut Initial Consultation Meeting Highlights Small State With Big Data Needs

September 17, 2015

By Dave Buchanan, FirstNet Director of Consultation
Earlier this year, members of the FirstNet User Advocacy team attended Connecticut’s initial state consultation meeting held at the University of Hartford’s Gengras Student Union. Michael Varney, the state’s Single Point of Contact (SPOC) and Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC), welcomed the more than 40 people in attendance and introduced William Shea, the Deputy Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP). Mr. Shea talked briefly about FirstNet’s potential to be a valuable asset to the state and the Nation, adding that the program will be a multi-year effort with which the state must remain engaged.

Ohio Initial Consultation Highlights Utilities, Ebola Response, and Sophisticated Rural Capabilities

September 15, 2015

By David Buchanan, FirstNet Director of Consultation
The Ohio Initial Consultation meeting was held at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Training Academy with more than 60 attendees from across the state. Former Ohio Single Point of Contact (SPOC), Darryl Anderson, and his team set the stage for a great day of discussions and information exchange – an excellent opportunity for FirstNet to learn more about the state’s broadband needs.


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