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Blog // Connect Iowa

FCC Using Form 477 Data to Close the Mobile Broadband Gap in Rural America

By Matt Diaz

Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced improved analysis of coverage data that will help the FCC realize its ambitious goal of universal broadband and advanced mobile coverage across the United States. In order to achieve this goal, the FCC created the Mobility Fund as a part of the Connect America Fund. The Mobility Fund is a universal service support mechanism dedicated exclusively to mobile service. However, in order for the Mobility Fund to improve coverage in underserved wireless mobile service areas, the FCC needs detailed coverage data. Largely due to access to more reliable data from provider-filed Forms...

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Wearable Tech for First Responders

By Amanda Murphy

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate supports research and development of wearable technology for first responders through its EMERGE program. This collaborative effort includes DHS partnering with emergency responders to identify capabilities and innovative companies to fulfill those needs. In its second year, EMERGE 2016 is bringing together 10 startups in a common effort to deliver the latest innovative wearable technologies. The startups will have the opportunity to receive feedback directly from first responders, industry professionals, and business leaders to assist in getting their products to market...

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FCC Authorizes Railroad Police to Use Public Safety Interoperability Channels

By Amanda Murphy

Recently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) changed its rules for safety and special radio services to allow railroad police officers to use public safety interoperability frequencies to communicate with public safety officials already authorized to use those channels. In Public Safety docket 15-199 and Rulemaking 11721, the FCC states, “Specifically, we permit railroad police officers empowered to carry out law enforcement functions to use public safety interoperability channels in the VHF (150-174 MHz, and 220-222 MHz, UHF (450-470 MHz), 700 MHz narrowband (769–775/799–805 MHz) and 800 MHz National Public Safety Planning Advisory...

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ISCISB Video Explains Communications Leadership in Public Safety Incidents

By Amanda Murphy

The Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board (ISICSB) has released a video detailing the role of a communications leader in a first responder situation and how to be certified to fill that role. In the video, Tom Boeckmann, HAN Chief, explains that within an incident command structure for public safety response events, the communications unit reports to the Logistics Chief. The leader of the communications unit is known as the Communications Unit Leader, or COML, and is responsible for all communications aspects of a public safety incident. Boeckmann goes on to explain the certification process for becoming a COML. Watch the...

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