Benefits of Transitioning to a Nationwide Wireless Broadband Network for Public Safety [open pdf - 427KB]
"At a recent hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly remarked that a 16-year-old with a smartphone has more advanced communications capability than a police officer or deputy 'carrying a radio.' The failings of public safety communications systems include both interoperability--with the limitations of current systems becoming tragically apparent on 9/11 and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and opperability with the cost-effectiveness and performance of traditional public safety devices trailing well behind those provided by modern commercial cellular operators. With the emerging rollout of commercial services marketed as 4G, LTE-based wireless services, there is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the effectiveness of our first responders through a national strategy to develop and deploy a nationwide wireless broadband network for public safety. Such a broadband service promises to enhance the effectiveness of public safety agencies and, if developed appropriately, can also ultimately replace their legacy (and very expensive) communications infrastructure and devices. This report explains how the President's Wireless Innovation and Infrastructure Initiative can facilitate the transition away from the traditional, fragmented world of public safety communications to a next generation system. It begins by providing the relevant context, explaining, among other things, the drawbacks of today's systems, and it concludes by discussing benefits and opportunities made possible by a successful transition to an LTE-based nationwide network. In so doing, it recognizes that this transition will take some time and, in order for it to be successful, it must planned carefully, coordinated effectively, and begin as soon as possible."
The White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/