Urgent Communications: Ensuring reliable first-responder communications inside buildings critical to public safety

November 4, 2014

For a consumer using a cellular network, losing a signal may be nothing more than an annoyance. But, for a first responder trying to execute a mission-critical application in the midst of an emergency, a dropped signal has a profound impact on how they do his/her job—if it can be done at all.

The importance of first responders being able to communicate deep within a building during an emergency was underscored during 9/11, when firefighters lost communication with one another in the Twin Towers. This problem is all too common across the nation and even the globe, prompting local governments to pass ordinances and other laws that require building and venue owners to ensure first responders access to public-safety wireless networks inside their structures. For example, the National Fire Prevention Act of 2009 provides a countrywide framework for requiring first responders to have network coverage everywhere in a building.

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