DISA at halfway point in rolling out wireless priority service

DISA at halfway point in rolling out wireless priority service

HERSHEY, Pa.'Emergency response officials nationwide will get wireless priority phone service starting in May.

"Wireless priority service is on the way," said Air Force Lt. Gen. Harry Raduege Jr., director of the Defense Information Systems Agency.

DISA's National Communications System has been testing the service in Washington and New York since May, Raduege said yesterday at the Industry Advisory Council's Executive Leadership Conference. For the test, Phase 2 of a four-phase rollout, 3,000 special wireless phones were distributed to a variety of first-response organizations.

Phase 3, set to begin in the spring, will give first-response units nationwide priority service during emergencies via multiple wireless carriers. But the service will extend only as far as the cell tower nearest each user, Raduege said.

DISA plans to complete the rollout in December 2004. The final phase will let emergency response workers establish end-to-end wireless priority service similar to the communications links available under the 40-year-old Government Emergency Telephone Service, which uses the switched public network.

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