NIST to expand work on emergency communications to support FirstNet

Mar 07, 2012

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will significantly expand its work in support of an advanced wireless communications system for the nation's first responders and emergency workers as a result of new legislation.

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96), signed into law by President Obama on February 22, creates a new "First Responder Network Authority" (FirstNet) within the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to build a for police, firefighters, professionals and other public safety officials. The program will be financed from the proceeds of a special auction of radio-frequency rights by the .

FirstNet is intended to provide a nationwide broadband network for emergency based on a set of common standards to ensure interoperability across public safety and police agencies at state, local, and federal levels. As part of this effort, NIST will work with NTIA, FirstNet, private industry and the public safety organizations to conduct research and develop new standards, technologies and applications to advance public safety communications.

Core components of this program will include documenting public safety requirements and driving the adoption of those requirements into the appropriate standards; developing the capability for communications between currently deployed public safety narrow band systems and the future nationwide broadband network; and establishing a roadmap that seeks to capture and address public safety's needs beyond what can be provided by the current generation of broadband technology and driving technological progress in that direction. NIST intends to use a combination of in-house research, competitive grants and transfers to other federal agencies to accomplish these objectives.

The act allocates up to $300 million to NIST, dependent on the funds received from future spectrum auctions, to be spent through 2022.

Explore further: FX says overnight ratings becoming meaningless

More information: For more on NIST's work on emergency communications, visit www.nist.gov/oles/public_safety.cfm

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

White House seeks spectrium for public safety

Jan 27, 2011

(AP) -- The Obama administration is throwing its support behind a plan to give a valuable chunk of radio waves to police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers to build nationwide wireless broadband network ...

Regulators propose grant program for public safety

Feb 25, 2010

(AP) -- Federal regulators will recommend that Congress devote up to $16 billion over 10 years to pay for a nationwide wireless broadband network that would allow police officers, firefighters and other emergency workers ...

FCC, public safety at odds over broadband plan

Jul 25, 2010

(AP) -- Two years ago, the Federal Communications Commission stumbled as it tried to create a nationwide wireless broadband network for police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers, delaying the construction ...

Recommended for you

Google searches hold key to future market crashes

9 hours ago

A team of researchers from Warwick Business School and Boston University have developed a method to automatically identify topics that people search for on Google before subsequent stock market falls.

Lenovo's smart glasses prototype has battery at neck

11 hours ago

China's PC giant Lenovo last week offered a peek at its Google Glass-competing smart glass prototype, further details of which are to be announced in October. Lenovo's glasses prototype is not an extreme ...

Amazon launches 3D printing store

14 hours ago

Amazon announced Monday the launch of an online store for 3D printed items to allow consumers to customize and personalize items like earrings, pendants, dolls and other objects.

User comments : 0