Wednesday, November 6, 2013

FirstNet Communication Plan Published

Last week the plan to create a dedicated broadband network for the nation's Emergency Services Sector (ESS) moved one step closer when the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) formally published rules for technically implementing the plan. Known as FirstNet, the system will allow the high speed transmission of voice, video, imagery and other data using the Long Term Evolution (LTE) standard. Equipment on the system will use portions of the 700 MHz band. More below:

(GCN, October 31, 2013)

Comment: Since the mid-1990's, Minnesota has spent over $200 million to build out the Allied Radio Matrix for Emergency Response (ARMER), a dedicated statewide first responder radio network which uses the 800 MHz band. In May 2013, the state released its Application for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration State and Local Implementation Grant Program which outlines how it intends to leverage parts of that previous ARMER investment to implement FirstNet in Minnesota. The document is an interesting read, particularly the maps in the last half of the application. 

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