Broadband: Safety net for 1st responders

RBC I The National Telecommunications Information and Administration (NTIA) held the First Net board of birectors’ meeting in Boulder, Colo., on Feb. 12. First Net has been tasked with developing and funding a nationwide broadband high speed network devoted exclusively to the support of public safety first responders (e.g., law enforcement, fire-rescue, emergency medical services et al) which would link and support federal, state, tribal, territorial and local first responders with a variety of features such as high speed data transmission, high definition interactive video teleconferencing, public safety telecommunications network support, support of rural and remote isolated public safety telecommunications functions and much more.
Natural hazards and man-made disasters and incidents can impact reliable communications systems and networks. Consequently those systems must be made robust and redundant to resist such events or provide alternative resources that will not fail in extraordinary emergent situations.
Fiber optic cable will serve as the primary backbone of the network and will be supplemented by microwave ground-based radio networks, satellite communications uplinks and other high capacity and high speed networks and systems.
The Colorado Digital Trunked Radio System (DTRS) Network serves most areas of the state with communications between law enforcement, fire-rescue and emergency medical services. However, digital high speed data between agencies is still in need of major enhancements.

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