By Dave Buchanan, FirstNet Director of State Consultation
During most initial consultations, FirstNet and the state discuss what a data network for public safety could do. New Jersey was able to show what it can do with a demonstration of its New Jersey Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) project, also known as JerseyNet, during its Initial Consultation meeting late last year.
More than 100 public safety stakeholders representing the major disciplines; local, state, and federal agencies; and the private sector attended the session held in September in Atlantic City. After FirstNet’s presentation, New Jersey’s Single Point of Contact (SPOC), Fred Scalera of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJ OHSP), along with the NJ State Police, provided a detailed presentation and demonstration of the JerseyNet long term evolution (LTE) network. To show the network’s capability, Mr. Scalera connected numerous devices within the meeting room live to a dispatch console, also in the room. The JerseyNet team (including personnel from the NJ OHSP, Office of Information Technology, and State Police) then exhibited resources, an instant push-to-talk capability with Incident Command (non-mission critical voice). Next, Mr. Scalera showed how video can be shared from the device to dispatch and/or other devices. He demonstrated voice and video capabilities with devices outside the meeting by communicating with personnel stationed at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and concluded by sharing some of the lessons learned and best practices from the network’s early days of operation.
After the presentation concluded, New Jersey made much of the equipment (devices and deployables) available for attendees to more closely view and inspect. More specifically, on display were:
- Trailer-based assets (SOW/COW) with a 60’ mast
- Rack-mount deployable assets
- Van with complete system with a 60’ mast
- SUV with complete system with portable 30’ tripod mast
New Jersey’s afternoon presentations focused on public safety user profiles and most commonly used applications, as well as the state’s data collection activities to date. Mr. Scalera announced that the state formed its State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP)-funded data collection team, which was collecting information for the September 30 deadline, including about 60 surveys from across the state focused on unique data intended to further educate the JerseyNet team and its work on the LTE network. Overall, attendees participated actively throughout the day.
Thanks to New Jersey SPOC Fred Scalera and his team, including the JerseyNet team responsible for planning the live demonstration, for helping arrange and execute a successful meeting. We look forward to continuing to work together with New Jersey.