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The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Public Safety Communications Research Division (PSCR) frequently collaborates with the First Responder Network Authority to advance public safety communications. Whether partnering on prize challenges, standards development, R&D testing, or the Public Safety Immersive Test Center, the two organizations are working together to spur technology development for first responders.
The Public Safety Immersive Test Center is a state-of-the-art facility designed to provide responders, researchers, and developers a virtual environment to develop, test, and evaluate public safety technologies. FirstNet Authority Chief Network Technology Officer Jeff Bratcher and Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division Chief Dereck Orr discuss the launch of the Test Center and the history of partnership between the FirstNet Authority and PSCR.
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), an independent agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced today the launch of the Public Safety Immersive Test Center in Boulder, Colorado, to spur the development and deployment of technologies critical to effective public safety response.
Experts at the Boulder FirstNet Lab in Colorado test functions and features of FirstNet to ensure first responders experience the network as designed and expected. For example, using load test tools, researchers can emulate 6,000 devices and demonstrate how priority and preemption work for first responders.
The Boulder FirstNet Lab is a state-of-the-art laboratory in which the First Responder Network Authority tests public safety functionality and features unique to the FirstNet network.
Located at FirstNet’s technical headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, the FirstNet Lab is a state-of-the-art laboratory in which the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and its future partner will test public safety functionality and features unique to FirstNet’s mission-critical broadband
Priority and preemption allow first responders to remain connected to FirstNet, even in times of high network congestion, and the FirstNet Authority is continually testing these features to ensure their functionality. Public safety agencies in Canton and Stark County, Ohio and Derry, New Hampshire have experienced the difference priority and preemption make in every day operations and emergency incidents.
In a world where technology trends are ever changing, the FirstNet Authority and our network contractor, AT&T, are working diligently to deliver a dedicated public safety broadband network. In addition to a reliable and secure connection, we are working with AT&T to build a diverse device ecosystem that will meet the needs of public safety.
A robust broadband ecosystem for public safety demands a proven pool of mobile apps based on the needs of the responder community. The FirstNet applications strategy is to enable the creation of public safety mobile applications while maintaining support for existing commercial applications. This will establish a portfolio of resilient, reliable, secure and easy-to-use mobile applications for first responders.