Agencies award IBM a contract for safety net

Public-safety and transportation agencies in the nation's capital area last week chose IBM Corp. to build the Capital Wireless Integrated Network, spanning 40 federal, state and local agencies.

CapWIN would give police, firefighters, transportation officials and emergency workers wireless access to multiple government data sources.

Charles Samarra, police chief of Alexandria, Va., and chairman of the CapWIN executive committee, said public-safety agencies 'have to change the way we do business.'

Emergency responders will use an instant messaging application on PCs, handheld computers or Web-enabled wireless phones to talk in restricted-access chat mode over CapWIN. IBM will supply the communications bridge to all the participating agencies in Washington, Maryland and Virginia. The IBM First-Responder Interoperability Solution will run on a cluster of eServer pSeries Unix platforms with message routing via IBM WebSphere.

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