FirstNet Board Considers How Its Future Network Might Have Helped in a Boston Bombing Type Situation

During the FirstNet board meeting held today in Washington D.C., the Boston Marathon bombing was raised and how this future public safety broadband network might have helped in this type of terrorist bombing situation.

FirstNet Board Chairman Sam Ginn felt that “Congress got it right” because FirstNet will build state-of-the-art LTE infrastructure that will allow downloads of video transmission, uploading of camera images, and photos of persons to be swiftly disseminated to law enforcement across jurisdictions.

Board member Charles “Chuck” Dowd, deputy chief, New York City Policy Department, gave a further example of bomb squads from various jurisdictions pooling their expertise and working together using real-time, high definition video to help the local bomb squad deal with a particular device.

Board member Kevin McGinnis, Chief/CEO, North East Mobile Health Services, gave a final example that he can monitor the vital signs of 20 bombing victim patients on his smart phone, but that doesn’t work unless he has a robust broadband system and the smartphones for his emergency medical service professionals.

Authorized by Congress last year, FirstNet will provide emergency responders with the first high speed, nationwide network dedicated to public safety. The broadband data network will be built using LTE, the most advanced wireless technology available at present.  Overseen by representatives of public safety, government and the wireless industry, FirstNet is an independent entity within the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.



About Rachelle Chong

Rachelle Chong is a nationally known expert on telecommunications, broadband, wireless communications, cable, digital literacy, public safety communications, renewable energy and smart grid policy. She is a former Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (Clinton appointee) and the California Public Utilities Commission (Schwarzenegger appointee). Other notable posts include Vice President, Government Affairs for Comcast California Region; Special Counsel for Advanced Information and Communications Technology for the CA Technology Agency; a partner at two international law firms (Graham & James and Coudert Brothers); General Counsel for Broadband Office; and an entrepreneur. Rachelle is delighted to brush off her Journalism degree from Cal Berkeley, and serve as a columnist for Techwire, focusing on federal and state policies and the San Francisco and Silicon Valley tech/telecom beats.

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