Wireless Broadband Network Takes Form for Public Safety Community


Author: George Krebs
Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States

Soon the Federal Communications Commission will roll out the Emergency Response Interoperability Center (ERIC). A first-of-its-kind center located within the Commission, ERIC will coordinate communication among the public safety community.

As Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief Jamie Barnett wrote ERIC will be based on a wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. This will include technical requirements for common standards across the field, priority access for public safety users, and choices for how they operate their broadband network. Panelists from the FCC, Department of Homeland Security, and the National Institute of Science and Technology spoke Tuesday about what form this should center should take. The need for an interoperability network is clear, they noted. Today first responders and public safety personnel are using a wide variety of devices in the course of their time sensitive work. This hodgepodge of systems contains a host of issues that complicates the vital work being performed. Critical communication coordination failures on September 11th and during Hurricane Katrina made the necessity of such interoperability painfully evident.

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