APCO Emerging Technology Forum 2014 (Toronto) – Day 2

The second day of the forum was again filled with thought-provoking information. For now I will share these three highlights:

1. Barry Luke (NPSTC) and Eric Torunski (CITIG) spoke of the on going challenges of cross border public safety radio communications. Often the governing regulations and agreements are out-of-date. An upcoming CITIG/NPSTC? white paper should provide some clarity regarding issues and processes. The future for 700 MHz Broadband interoperability remains unclear as Industry Canada has not yet indicated if the Public Safety Broadband frequency allocations will be the same as for the US.

2. Claudio Lucent with the Canada Centre for Security Science spoke of the challenges with “deployable assets” in border areas. Of course radio waves don’t stop at man-made borders so cross border interference is quite possible.  While a fixed radio site’s antenna radiation pattern can be tweaked to minimize the energy radiated over the border,  this antenna manipulation is much more challenging when deploying a temporary mobile site.

3. Jeff Cohen from APCO International spoke of their Public Safety mobile applications initiative. On the AppComm.org website is a directory of (with links to) many, varied applications for smartphones. Although the apps that are listed aren’t endorsed by APCO they have been reviewed for suitability. The website also features a discussion forum to encourage development of future apps.

Wednesday’s sessions also included a fascinating look at “4th Wave” data as a digital asset for supplementing 9-1-1 response , an update on FirstNet and a presentation about P25 compliance and interoperability testing.

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