First interoperable network
| 09.15.2006 | 06:55:01 | Views: 2969 | ID:
September 15 '06: In Texas, the nation's first fully interoperable communications network has been unveiled and will allow federal, state and local government agencies, first responders and the private sector communicate with each other "over their existing networks and equipment," according to a press release on Thursday.
Cooperating in the the construction and funding of the project were the Department of Homeland Security, the State of Texas, the City of Dallas, and several local and regional government delegations.The Associated Press reported that the Dallas Love Field Wireless Integration Project, as the system is called, "uses special software to let authorities from various departments and agencies talk to each other, even if they are using different technologies such as a two-way radio and a cell phone." "The system uses a special 'mesh' network that is able to transmit voice, video and data from various devices," the AP continued, "such as cell phone, laptops, PDAs and radios. Tools allow the various agencies to manage the flow of incoming and outgoing information." Mark Tucker, the CEO of CoCo communications, the Seattle-based company that helped to build the network said the Dallas interoperable network represents the work "of people representing a cross-section of local, state and Federal agencies who have worked in partnership to successfully address this challenge [of interoperability] and establish the nation's first interoperable and secure emergency communications service." Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw told the AP, "The bottom line is that the events of 9/11, Katrina, Rita, wildfires and floods have made it abundantly clear that first responders have to talk to each other. ... This has been maybe a 30-year sin and we have to fix it." The project was funded by a $979,100 grant from DHS and was developed at Love Field Airport in Dallas "because of the airport's location in a large urban area," the AP reported.
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