years ago, tragedy struck the U.S., and during the attack on 9/11,
radio systems used by emergency personnel could not operate competently
across agencies. In the aftermath, an investigation by the 9/11
Commission revealed gaps in emergency communications across the country,
prompting the need for a nationwide network for law enforcement, fire,
and emergency medical personnel.|
In 2012, Congress authorized the creation of the First Responder Network Authority (now FirstNet) and allocated 20 megahertz of spectrum, known as Band 14, to a dedicated first responder broadband network. The estimated $54 billion needed to build out the network was raised by selling television spectrum in the FCC’s broadcast incentive auction and by entering a 25-year public-private partnership with AT&T. The telecom is now building out and funding FirstNet, which went live in March 2018. The effort in the U.S has also created and inspired new public safety systems worldwide.
The ultimate vision for public safety is a converged network, a dedicated, public safety wireless broadband infrastructure capable of offering mission-critical services; these services will include voice, data, and video. LMR and LTE networks are coming together to make this vision a reality, albeit slowly. Continue Reading