FirstNet rocks test deployment at Jersey shore
- By Amanda Ziadeh
- Sep 04, 2015
Large concerts can easily overwhelm a city’s communications infrastructure as thousands of fans compete to send messages, pictures and videos from their phones.
Massive amounts of network usage from thousands of people can degrade data transmission, resulting in a dangerous situation for first responders if they are relying on the same cell phone towers to communicate and operate surveillance cameras and command vehicles. So recent beach concerts in Atlantic City, N.J., provided an ideal opportunity to test JerseyNet, the state’s public safety broadband network and a FirstNet Early Builder project focused on the use of deployable communications assets.
During concerts on Aug. 16 and Aug. 20, the Atlantic City Police Department and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness were able to create a dedicated wireless broadband network for first responders using portable communications technology that allowed for uninterrupted transmission of video, voice and radio communications.
At these concerts, the police department’s Mobile Communications Unit used trailer-mounted surveillance cameras connected to JerseyNet to share data between field resources and police officers within the command structure, as well as across the network to agencies like the New Jersey State Police and emergency medical service providers. These agencies were able to receive the information and videos via workstations and mobile devices using Mutualink, an interoperable communications technology available through FirstNet.
The network was successfully deployed with police officials reporting “zero loss of data.”
"This was the first time during a large, densely populated event that we were able to maintain a constant real-time video stream, and this vastly improved the situational awareness for everyone involved with securing these events,” said Lieutenant James A. Sarkos of the Atlantic City Police Department.
Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.