First Responders Group Capacity Building Webinar Series Presents a Discussion on Voice Communications Interoperability
May 20, 2013
On Wednesday, May 29, 2013 at 2 p.m. ET, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will host a webinar on Voice Communications Interoperability ... [more]
AT&T Public Safety App 'Hackathon' Held on May 17 and 18
May 17, 2013
(courtesy Alex Donn, AT&T Developer Program) – Did you know that mobile apps can be built in a day? Come to an AT&T Mobile App Hackathon to find out how. With the adoption of 4G LTE, policy, fire, and EMS personnel will soon be able to access the same kinds of high-speed data networks we make use of every day. Vaulting them into the world of networked communications, these first responders will need a litany of mobile apps to help them do their jobs protecting our communities ... [more]
FirstNet Consultation Workshops Announced
May 16, 2013
(courtesy Joelle Tessler, NTIA) – The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is holding six regional consultation workshops in May and June of 2013 ... [more]
COML Training Pays Off at National Disaster Medical System Drill
April 30, 2013
Lloyd Mitchell, NPSTC representative from the Forestry Conservation Communications Association (FCCA), reports on the effective use of Communications Unit Leader (COML) training during a National Disaster Medical System Drill (NDMS) held at the Columbia Airport in South Carolina on April 16 and 17, 2013.
Although public safety regularly use cell phones, smart phones, and other commercial wireless devices and services as a secondary form of communications, these devices and systems are currently not sufficiently suited for public safety mission critical voice communications during critical incidents ... [read more]
Great News for Public Safety: TIA Issues New Safety Standard for Battery Powered-LMR
April 08, 2013
NPSTC congratulates the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) on the American National Standards Institute approval of their new standard. The TIA standard answers public safety's need for technical information related to the design, manufacturing, and testing of battery-powered, Land Mobile Radio (LMR) equipment, typically either hand-carried or worn on the person ... [read more]
NPSTC Issues Important Report on T-Band at IWCE; What Else Happened? And Check Out NPSTC's 2012 Annual Report
March 26, 2013
This summary of the recent NPSTC Meeting at IWCE features the important new T-Band Report issued by NPSTC and other NPSTC information highlights from the NPSTC Meeting at IWCE. And be sure to take a look at the NPSTC 2012 Annual Report!
Are You Operating in the T-Band? Changes Will Affect You – Loss of the T-Band Could Cost $5.9 Billion
The T-Band frequencies in 470–512 MHz are authorized for use in 11 metro markets by both public safety and industrial/business users. Public safety has built extensive communications networks on the T-Band, which provides frequencies in metro areas where spectrum demand is the greatest. An unexpected provision of the law that created the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) also requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to recover and auction the public safety T-Band spectrum... [read more]
Substantial Service Showings for 700 MHz State Licensees
March 15, 2013
NPSTC Develops Procedure to Assist State Licensee Holders Meet FCC Requirements
In 2000, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated 2.4 megahertz of the 700 MHz narrowband spectrum for statewide geographic licensing. The Governor of each state authorized an individual or state agency within the state, to apply and or manage this 700 MHz license... [read more]
NPSTC Develops Launch Requirements for Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network
December 11, 2012
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 has made the deployment of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) possible. This groundbreaking legislation establishes the governance and identifies the funding necessary to build a public safety broadband network. The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), assigned to deploy and operate the NPSBN, will need a statement of public safety’s technical and administrative requirements in the immediate‐, medium‐, and long‐terms. On December 11, 2012, NPSTC presented the Launch Statement of Requirements (SoR) to the First Net Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), who in turn has presented it to the FirstNet Board to assist them as they begin to develop the long‐awaited NPSBN.
The 15 public safety organizations that comprise NPSTC, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, American Radio Relay League, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Association of Public‐Safety Communications Officials‐International, Forestry Conservation Communications Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, International Association of Emergency Managers, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Municipal Signal Association, National Association of State Chief Information Officers, National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials, National Association of State Foresters, National Association of State Technology Directors, National Emergency Number Association, and the National Sheriff's Association formally voted to endorse the Public Safety Broadband High‐Level Launch Requirements, Statement of Requirements for FirstNet Consideration.
NPSTC's Broadband Working Group prepared this document to describe the high‐level public safety requirements required for launch of the network. The Launch SoR has been developed by public safety practitioners from all disciplines, experts in public safety communications, commercial wireless providers, members of academia, information technologists, equipment manufacturers, and many others who have dedicated numerous hours because they know they are contributing to one of the most important technology initiatives of their careers.
These volunteers came together through the NPSTC Broadband Working Group (BBWG), working with the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program. PSCR is jointly supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)/Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) with additional funding from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS's), Office of Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC), and the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC).
The AFST Working Group received many comments on the need for additional narrowband spectrum to support public safety operations, including the need for additional interoperability spectrum assignments. There is a need for additional VHF narrowband spectrum to support existing and future public safety communications needs. Many rural agencies compete with statewide public safety agencies for access to VHF spectrum, which is highly desirable spectrum due to its ability to cover very wide areas at lower costs. The currently allocated Public Safety spectrum is insufficient to meet current voice and data needs, will not permit deployment of needed advanced data and video systems, does not provide adequate interoperability channels, and will not meet future needs under projected population growth and demographic changes.
What States, Locals Need to Know to Prepare for Rollout of Nationwide PS Broadband Network
July 16, 2012
Congress passed groundbreaking legislation for a new Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) on February 17, 2012. The Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act of 2012 was signed by President Obama on February 22. The legislation (Public Law 112-96) allocates the D Block spectrum to public safety, provides $7 billion federal funding for the network, and establishes a nationwide governance structure, the First Responder Network Authority(FirstNet). The FirstNet Board is scheduled to be appointed by August 20, 2012.
Video Graphically Highlights Need for Broadband to Manage Public Safety Events
June 13, 2012
Managing complex emergencies demands new approaches to collaboration and decision support. Precision Information Environments will improve the way people interact with each other and with information throughout the emergency management lifecycle, from planning to response, recovery and mitigation. See how Precision Information Environments might be used in one scenario. Working with stakeholders from across the emergency management community, and with sponsorship from the Command, Control and Interoperability Division Basic/Futures Research program within the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are developing future work environments for emergency management.