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Aligning APCO’s Advocacy Priorities With Our Members’ Needs

By Jeff Cohen Back in January, we posted a blog outlining our top legislative and regulatory priorities for 2021. Now that we are six months into the year, and with APCO’s Annual Conference right around the corner, we’re writing to reflect on the “why” behind our advocacy. APCO is driven by the needs of its…

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APCO International’s Public Safety Communications Priorities for the New Year

By Jeff Cohen In 2020, public safety communications professionals faced an extraordinary year, dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, record-breaking natural disasters, and major civil unrest, in addition to their “routine” work protecting and saving lives. From an advocacy perspective, 2020 was a mixed bag. We witnessed some progress with federal legislation, but there’s a lot…

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Update on New FCC Spectrum Rules: Why APCO is suing the FCC

By Jeff Cohen Last year, I wrote a blog titled “New FCC Spectrum Rules Put Public Safety Communications at Risk.” As I explained, the FCC adopted new rules to allow Wi-Fi routers to freely operate throughout a major spectrum band that is heavily relied upon by public safety agencies for “microwave” communications. APCO and other…

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Forming the Public Safety Next Generation 9-1-1 Coalition

By Jeff Cohen Looking back at 2020, one of the bright spots for APCO was joining with other leading public safety associations to advocate for legislation that would establish a significant one-time federal grant program to achieve Next Generation 9‑1‑1 (NG9‑1‑1) nationwide. Following months of collaboration between various public safety associations and congressional staff, the…

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New FCC Spectrum Rules Put Public Safety Communications at Risk

By Jeff Cohen APCO recently filed two formal petitions with the FCC regarding a major change it made to regulations that govern the use of spectrum that is relied upon by public safety. One was a Petition for Reconsideration, urging the FCC to repeal the new rules and fix numerous problems; the other was a…

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Federal Report Estimates Extent of Interoperability Challenges for 9-1-1

By Jeff Cohen This won’t come as news to anyone working in public safety communications, but 9-1-1 faces significant interoperability challenges.  While ECCs are generally able to transfer basic voice 9-1-1 calls to neighboring ECCs, they often cannot share other types of communications and data important for emergency response. What might be surprising is that…

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9-1-1: Nearing 50 Years of Dependable Emergency Assistance

By Martha Carter, President, APCO International February 16, 2018 will mark 50 years since the first 9-1-1 call was placed in Haleyville, Alabama.  In the decades since, 9-1-1 has become one of the most well-known brands of all time.  Children are taught at the earliest possible age to call 9-1-1 in an emergency.  And the…

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Achieving the True Promise of Next Generation 9-1-1

9-1-1 is part of America’s critical infrastructure, but it profoundly lags behind in technology. Public safety communications professionals across the country deserve to have the best tools available to protect and save lives.  Next Generation 9-1-1 promises to deliver many benefits, including putting 9-1-1 on par with technology used in the commercial sector, which for…

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All In: Betting Against Opt-Out

With FirstNet’s historic announcement of its selection of AT&T as its partner, we are about to achieve the promise of a state-of-the-art, nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network.  Each state will soon be presented with the opportunity of FirstNet’s proposed network build – one that will forever transform and improve emergency response.  States would receive…

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FirstNet Works to Foster Innovation in Public Safety Apps

By Jeff Posner, FirstNet Senior Applications Architect If you know FirstNet, then you know we are focused on putting broadband technology into the hands of public safety personnel nationwide. What you may not know is that FirstNet also is leading the way on a host of public safety-focused technologies, not the least of which is in…

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