December 2, 2022

FirstNet takes mainnet, devices and apps for a test at Boston Marathon – GCN


FirstNet uses core network, devices and apps for Boston Marathon test

During this year’s Boston Marathon, fire, police and incident response teams from Boston and Brookline, Mass., Tested various devices and applications connected to FirstNet’s dedicated core network.

FirstNet, the national public safety broadband network, announced the availability of its mainnet on March 27 and has since made available FirstNet compatible devices and applications to stakeholders.

First responders participating in the demonstration used FirstNet compatible devices with mobile push-to-talk and land-based radio integration applications. Thirty of the phones were equipped with SIM cards and connected to the dedicated FirstNet Core.

The dual-use app was easy for responders to learn, according to Scott Wilder, director of technology and communications for the Brookline Police Department. Responders could set up smaller groups where only firefighters spoke, for example, which kept the channel from being cluttered with chatter that not everyone needed to hear, Wilder explained in a commentary. video.

Tracking apps helped commanders track personnel and resources to coordinate response efforts. The Boston Fire Department was able to see the exact position of individual responders displayed on screens in their communications center and mobile command units, FirstNet’s Michael Varney said in a report. blog post. Commanders could identify which responder was closest to an incident in order to save valuable time by sending the closest responder. The Boston Police Department kept track of the location of the fastest runners in each racing category so officials could make more timely decisions regarding crowd control and street closures.

The 2018 run marked the fifth anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon attacks. After the attack, wireless carrier networks were inundated with traffic and “responders’ cell phones were completely dead,” the former said. Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis. Fox News. This year, with a dedicated network, security and communications are much better, even with almost triple the number of police officers, he said.

The FirstNet core network, built by AT&T, separates public safety traffic from commercial traffic and supports priority and preemption capabilities as well as end-to-end encryption for answering machine communications.

So far, 17 devices have been approved for use on the FirstNet network and are now available for purchase through the AT&T FirstNet portal. The devices include three models of Samsung Galaxy smartphones; seven Apple iPhone models and two iPads; the NetGear MR1100-330 Access Point; and Sonim’s rugged XP5 handhelds. Some devices will operate on the central network with the installation of a FirstNet SIM card; other devices may also require a simple software update.

FirstNet is also running a series of hackathons to increase the number of apps available to stakeholders.

Responders have long needed a reliable and robust public safety network, Wilder said. “Set up the FirstNet application and the FirstNet network [after the Boston bombing] would have kept these communications that we lost active, ”he said. “If that happened today, we would basically be doing what we do today – we would be able to communicate. “

Editor’s Note: This article was updated May 5 to correct the model of the Sonim handheld.

About the Author

Susan Miller is Editor-in-Chief at GCN.

During a past career in technology media, Miller has worked in publishing, print and online production, starting with the copy office at IDG’s ComputerWorld, moving to print production for the Federal Computer. Week and later helping with website launch and email newsletter delivery for FCW. After a stint at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology, where she worked to promote technology-based economic development, she joined what would become 1105 Media in 2004, eventually managing content and production for all websites. government-driven business. Miller returned to writing in 2012, when she started working with GCN.

Miller holds a BA and MA from West Chester University and did a doctorate. work in English at the University of Delaware.

Connect with Susan at [email protected] Where @sjaymiller.

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