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How Could FirstNet Have Helped in the Boston Marathon Bombing?

In its April 23 meeting, the FirstNet board considers how its future network may have helped in a situation like the Boston Marathon bombing.

by / April 23, 2013
Image via Shutterstock
During the FirstNet board meeting held April 23 in Washington, D.C., the Boston Marathon bombing was raised and how this future public safety broadband network might have helped in this type of terrorist bombing situation.
FirstNet Board Chairman Sam Ginn felt that “Congress got it right” because FirstNet will build state-of-the-art LTE infrastructure that will allow downloads of video transmission, uploading of camera images and photos of persons to be swiftly disseminated to law enforcement across jurisdictions.
Board member Charles “Chuck” Dowd, deputy chief of the New York City Policy Department, gave a further example of bomb squads from various jurisdictions pooling their expertise and working together using real-time, high-definition video to help the local bomb squad deal with a particular device.
Board member Kevin McGinnis, chief/CEO of North East Mobile Health Services, gave a final example that he can monitor the vital signs of 20 bombing victim patients on his smartphone, but that doesn’t work unless he has a robust broadband system and the smartphones for his emergency medical service professionals.
Authorized by Congress last year, FirstNet will provide emergency responders with the first high-speed, nationwide network dedicated to public safety. The broadband data network will be built using LTE, the most advanced wireless technology available at present.  Overseen by representatives of public safety, government and the wireless industry, FirstNet is an independent entity within the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock. This story was originally published by

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Rachelle Chong Columnist,

Rachelle Chong is a nationally known expert on telecommunications, broadband, wireless communications, cable, digital literacy, public safety communications, renewable energy and smart grid policy. She is a former Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (Clinton appointee) and the California Public Utilities Commission (Schwarzenegger appointee). Prior to that, she has been Vice President, Government Affairs for Comcast California Region, Special Counsel for the CA Technology Agency, a partner at two international law firms (Graham & James and Coudert Brothers), and an entrepreneur. Rachelle is delighted to brush off her Journalism degree from Cal Berkeley, and serve as a columnist for Techwire, focusing on federal policies and the San Francisco and Silicon Valley tech/telecom beats.

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