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Blog // Connect Iowa

Whitepaper: How FirstNet Can Better Prepare the U.S. for Crisis Response

By Amanda Murphy

A white paper released this week by Mutualink details how FirstNet will assist in preparing the U.S. for future crisis situations. The paper, titled Lessons Learned from Global Attacks: How FirstNet Can Better Prepare the U.S. for Crisis Response, uses research from large-scale crisis events around the world to determine patterns. These patterns revealed recurring problems hindering first responders and include communication breakdowns among responding agencies, overcrowded cellular networks, and a lack of real-time information sharing at the scene. The paper highlights 3 items that first responders need from FirstNet: ·   ...

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Census Shows Home Broadband Adoption Improving in the U.S., Despite Persistent Gaps

By Chris McGovern

The United States Census Bureau recently released data from its 2015 American Community Survey (ACS) showing that home Internet access and broadband adoption are climbing in the United States, albeit slowly. Overall, the ACS data shows that 77% of Americans have some sort of broadband service at home. That includes 6% of Americans who subscribe only to mobile service at home. Not all Americans are subscribing at the same rate, and this new data shows that some of the gaps appear to be shrinking at a glacial pace. Fewer than one-half (49%) of Americans living in households with annual incomes below $20,000 have home broadband service,...

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Public Safety Communications in the Post 9/11 Era

By Amanda Murphy

The First Responder Network Authority, known as FirstNet, has released a video series of first responders sharing their visions for the future of public safety communications. The nationwide public safety communication network that FirstNet is working to deploy was prompted by the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2011. The 9/11 Commission recommended a dedicated first responder network to aid efficiency and timeliness during tragic events. In the video series Looking Back and Looking Forward: The Future of Public Safety Communications in the Post 9/11 Era, FirstNet shares the stories of four public safety...

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FCC Seeks Comments on State Opt-Out Procedure

By Amanda Murphy

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently released a Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that takes steps toward clearing current use of Band 14 spectrum for FirstNet’s use. The Report and Order gives a deadline of August 13, 2017, for public safety officials currently using this radio space now licensed for the nationwide public safety LTE network to relocate to other frequencies. FirstNet is assisting with relocation efforts through its created grant program by providing $40 million in funding. The Report and Order also asks for comment on the FCC’s proposed administering of the opt-out process for states...

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