FROM FIRE CHIEF, APRIL 28, 2014- Long-Term Evolution is the current technical standard for 4G high-speed wireless broadband voice and data communications, usually associated with commercial applications. However, the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) currently in development will leverage the same LTE used for commercial cellular networks.
In 2012, the U.S. Congress authorized the allocation of 700 MHz dedicated spectrum, dubbed the D-Block, to the public-safety community. It also created FirstNet, a governing authority charged with overseeing the NPSBN build-out.
Public safety officials and FirstNet will assure that the NPSBN is designed specifically for public safety use, which means it must support communications whenever public-safety users require it and not be subject to network overload.
During disasters, access to reliable, integrated communications and strategic information is critical to an effective response, and using LTE for the NPSBN should provide public safety agencies with a number of key benefits, not the least of which is greater capacity for the transfer of all kinds of data, including video.
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