Unified Communications

FCC clears way for field equipment to be used on FirstNet

FCC approves technical rules and directs its Office of Engineering and Technology to begin equipment certification process for the nationwide public safety broadband network.

One city fends off cyberespionage attacks, and collaboration is key

Seattle's collaboration with the FBI and a DHS fusion center helped thwart attacks from China, but that kind of information sharing doesn't happen enough, a new report says.

Richmond's alarm tech cuts 911 errors, speeds call center operations

The city of Richmond, Va., and its partners developed the Automated Secure Alarm Protocol that offers a better way to deliver information from alarm monitoring companies to emergency operators.

3 reasons smartphones aren't ready to replace police radios

Combining cellular and other digital communications with traditional police radio networks increases interoperability and extends coverage areas, but there are limits to its uses.

In a world of unified networks, phones are easy prey for hackers

As voice becomes just another data service, telephones are opened up to increasing denial-of-service threats from the Internet.

Using IP to give radio systems a national footprint

A radio-to-IP system brings smart phones into public safety networks but it's no replacement for traditional land mobile radios, users in Mobile County, Ala., say.

Derecho report: Agencies could avoid most 911 failures

Many of the emergency communications failures after the June storm could have been averted by following established best practices, the FCC says.

Caveat texter: Text-to-911 is not a substitute for voice calls

A text message to 911 is still a text message, subject to SMS limitations. In an emergency, it's still better to call.

911 texting moves to real world

How the FCC, states and the telecom industry are taking steps to bring SMS texting into the nation's 911 emergency call systems.

Public Wi-Fi finds a home in Virginia city

The addition of public wireless access points in Staunton's busy Gypsy Hill Park during a network upgrade was a way to give something back to the people, says the city's CTO.

Video surveillance: Keep it simple

The Boca Raton Police Department decided the expense of operating a physical security information management system in-house was worth it.

When radios can’t connect, IP provides the bridge

Once data has been put on an IP network, disparate types of devices -- such as siloed first responder radios -- can be linked almost anywhere in the world.

IceWarp messaging system warms to Windows 8

The newest version of the suite, which handles communications between every type of mobile device, also is compatible with Windows Server 2012.

Boca Raton adds smarts to surveillance network

The Florida city is building out a city-wide digital video surveillance system and is using a management system to integrate feeds so police can get real-time views of the city.

Interoperable radios: Perfect vs. the possible

An IP system linking disparate communications infrastructures might not be perfect, but it works, and that is good enough.

How IP networks helped NJ crews meet Sandy head-on

Response teams in Bergen County, N.J., used interoperable IP connectivity to link a variety of radio systems during Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy.

Health office finds in-house VOIP provides better reporting, lower long-term costs

Choosing VOIP when combining three separate agencies was easy, but Summit County Public Health also had to weigh the options on where it would be hosted.