January 08, 2008
Americans skeptical that Washington will fix emergency communications 'interoperability’ problem
Feds Still Planning 700 MHz Public Safety Spectrum Auction, but Two-Thirds of Americans Want State, Local Governments to Act Now
WASHINGTON — More than eight out of ten Americans say that a fix to the 9/11 interoperability problem should already be in place, and a majority said they now trust local authorities more than the federal government to overcome the nagging emergency communications obstacle any time soon.
According to a national In Motion Technology/RT Strategies poll released today, 83 percent of those surveyed said the federal government should already have deployed an interoperability solution for first responders. Fully 65 percent of respondents said the federal government should have resolved the issue within a year of the 9/11 attacks – more than 6 years ago.
During the 9/11 terrorist attacks, first responders were unable to communicate with each other because of incompatible communications equipment. This month -- more than 6 years after 9/11 -- the federal government may take the first meaningful step to address the problem by auctioning radio airwaves within the 700 MHz band that could eventually be used to create a nationwide public safety network through a public-private partnership.
The poll found that a majority of Americans now say they have more faith in local governments to deal with technology challenges pertaining to public safety communications. The survey of 1,000 adults nationwide has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.
“By a margin of four to one, Americans want state and local governments to invest in cost effective technologies to fix first responder problems and stop waiting for federal action,” said In Motion Technology CEO Kirk Moir, whose company produces a device that allows seamless first responder data communications.
“While a national public safety network may be years away, solutions are available today,” said Moir. “First responders across America are using technologies that enable their current data and communications devices to be interoperable and connected at critical times.”
His company’s onBoard Mobile Gateway provides first responders with mobile, secure, wireless local area networks, called “vehicle area networks.” The gateway enables a full range of first responder devices, including laptops, video surveillance equipment, vehicle diagnostics and medical devices such as ECGs to seamlessly communicate with one another, other first responders and a hospital or operations home base.
In Motion’s gateway automatically senses and selects the best available wireless network – whether cellular, 3G, 4.9GHz or 700 MHz – in order to send voice, video and data from a moving emergency vehicle. Public safety organizations that have deployed the Gateway have seen improved communications and emergency operations, and reduced response times.
“Emergencies happen every day and a large-scale incident can happen at any time,” said Moir, who said his products are used in over 90 communities. “First responders need interoperability today, and they are finding their own solutions in the market.”
Full survey results available at www.inmotiontechnology.com
About In Motion Technology
In Motion Technology provides cognitive wireless systems that enable public safety organizations to stay connected while in motion. The company’s complete vehicle area network solution ensures that any IP device can be useful in the field immediately with no modification, connecting to headquarters over the most reliable communications network available. In Motion Technology solutions have been successfully deployed in high-performance EMS, Police and Fire departments in the US and Canada. Founded in 2002, In Motion Technology is based in Vancouver, BC. For more information, please call (604) 523-2371 or visit www.inmotiontechnology.com.
In Motion Technology
Rubin|Meyer Public Affairs
Michael Rubin, 202-898-0995