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The Texas A&M Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC) in College Station, Texas plays an important role in developing public safety broadband technologies. Through its annual Winter Institute Workshop and Exercise, ITEC has brought together industry and public safety leaders to test and developing apps and services that benefit first responders.
The FirstNet Authority developed the Roadmap to guide FirstNet’s growth over the next five years with input from public safety, industry, government, and our network contractor, AT&T. The FirstNet Authority included the Secure Information Exchange domain as one of six technology domains in the FirstNet Authority Roadmap to further shape and improve the FirstNet user experience and promote the safe exchange of critical and sensitive information over FirstNet.
Connecting to tools and resources is vital for law enforcement agencies. With FirstNet, officers and deputies in rural and remote areas have increased access to the databases and systems they need. Harry Markley, FirstNet Authority Senior Law Enforcement Advisor, highlights how three agencies are using FirstNet to maximize operations and improve incident outcomes.
At the annual Winter Institute Workshop and Exercise, hosted by the Texas A&M University’s Internet2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC), public safety officials evaluate technologies in real-life scenarios to help shape future technologies and research. During the 2020 exercise, participants practiced integrating new technologies, including a FirstNet deployable, into disaster operations during a simulated cyberattack.
During an emergency management exercise of an aircraft accident, emergency management personnel at the TF Green International Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island participated in a FirstNet demonstration to test the network’s capabilities. Throughout the exercise, the FirstNet devices were used to help manage communications between care teams and the emergency communications center.
Officers with the Troy Police Department in New York rely on FirstNet for a differentiated emergency communications experience in the city’s densely populated urban setting. FirstNet’s priority and preemption service allows officers to stay connected, make calls, and send and receive information securely without signal delay or disruption.
Operating in a remote location of California, Santa Clara County Sheriff Search and Rescue used three FirstNet Flying Cell on Wings (COWs) during a training exercise to support communications.
Through FirstNet’s extended primary user program, schools, hospitals, and other non-traditional public safety entities can benefit from everything the network has to offer. FirstNet helped one such extended primary user, Texas City Independent School District, communicate during two incidents.