Wireless company sees private sector resources leveraged for public safety response
| 11.20.2007 | 11:48:09 | Views: 4879 | ID:
November 20 '07: When the I-35W Bridge collapsed in Minneapolis in August, residents near the crash sent cell phone pictures to responder officials; posted them onto Fickr sites and exchanged them over the city's wireless network. Officials used the open-sharing of data using private networks and existing private sector resources to help with response operations - something that Frontline Wireless wants to try and harness.
The company's goal, according to its website, is to leverage "efficiencies of shared spectrum and network infrastructure ... [to] empower first responders with state-of-the-art technology and [to] liberate consumers from the 'walled gardens' of the incumbent wireless providers."The company plans to exercise this by acquiring part of the 700 MHz frequency being auctioned by the federal government. Google is making similar moves to buy large chunks of the spectrum. During the bridge collapse in August, Frontline's CTO Stagg Newman told the Boston Herald, that having the 700 MHz spectrum open could mean that a person would "be able to take a picture of what's going on. ... It gets onto the broadband network and immediately goes to the 911 center." To help ensure greater public safety, Frontline has outlined a five-point plan: to double the amount of 700 MHz spectrum available to first responders; help reduce the costs of implementing a "4g" broadband national network by using the already-existing sources; to use "open" networks which will help to increase security and reduce roadblocks to information-sharing; give security and control to local agencies; and above all, to have the networks be interoperable.
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