Public Safety Communications News Round-up – April 27, 2017

​​The Public Safety landscape is being inundated by change, on a scope and scale not seen before. Here’s a round-up of the latest industry news and updates including some great pieces from GovTechWorks, MissionCritical Communications, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the SmartCities Council North America, GCNtech, the European Emergency Number Association (EENA), The U.S. Commerce Department (, FirstNet, Homeland Preparedness News and more. Enjoy!

FirstNet news around the world

On the heels of the exciting news of the FirstNet contract award, there has been a wave of interesting articles and blogs. This one, published by the Smart Cities Council reminds us what FirstNet is all about – giving first responders the tools they need to save more ​lives.

Public safety LTE Broadband isn’t just making waves here in the U.S.; it’s creating opportunities for safer communities around the world. On March 16th, FirstNet hosted the first ever International Public Safety Forum for Wireless Broadband to share best practices with peers from various countries. Representatives from seven nations – Canada, United Kingdom, Korea, Australia, Sweden, Finland and Norway – all attended.

In his blog, TJ Kennedy, FirstNet President, wrote: “At least 17 countries are considering some form of a nationwide LTE broadband network dedicated to public safety. What these nations have in common is the goal of bringing reliable high-speed wireless communications to public safety, whenever and wherever they need it.” This article in RadioResource provides more detail on each country’s plans and progress toward implementing public safety LTE.

NG911 – cause for optimism

While progress on the FirstNet front is undeniable, headway on NG911 hasn’t been as steady and fast. But there are some reasons for optimism. On April 3rd, the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing to examine shortcomings in the nation’s 911 system and why NG911 is vital to bridging these gaps. This thoughtful article in GCN further examines where NG911 is at, and what it’s going to take to put it on the map. Currently, the FCC counts only about 850 out of 6,500 nationwide 911 centers that are equipped to take text messages. But the good news is – some states, including California and Missouri, are ramping up plans to accept SMS 911 Texts and future multimedia communications.

On the international front, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and the European Emergency Number Association (EENA) recently announced their plans to intensify cooperation across the Atlantic in order to “expand the global reach of core standards like i3” in the advancement of next generation emergency communications.

NG911 and FirstNet: two halves, one whole

While NG911 and FirstNet are developing along different timelines and paths, they are in fact, two halves of one whole. Watch this video to see how NG911 and FirstNet will work together to improve public safety.

We hope you enjoyed this Public Safety news round-up. Be sure to respond in the comments or tweet us @NICE_PublicSafe.​


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