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: Millions without mobile phone service in Argentina

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

Britain's BT in talks to buy mobile operator EE

Dec 15, 2014

BT Group PLC said Monday it is in exclusive talks to buy mobile phone operator EE from Germany's Deutsche Telekom and France's Orange for 12.5 billion pounds ($20 billion) in cash and shares.

Re-imagining the network

Dec 12, 2014

Communication networks are evolving to keep pace with increasing consumer needs and business demands. We've already experienced the progressive jumps from 1G to 4G wireless networks and 5G is looming in the not-too-distant ...

High-speed Internet on its way to more schools

Dec 11, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission agreed Thursday to dramatically boost spending to bring high-speed Internet access to schools and libraries in poor or rural areas, a move that would likely increase Americans' phone ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.