FirstNet Discussed at First Alcatel-Lucent Public Safety Seminar

NAPERVILLE, Illinois, July 22, 2013 -- Alcatel-Lucent on Thursday held the first in a series of seminars to help educate providers, partners and stakeholders on FirstNet, NTIA’s nationwide campaign to improve communication technology for public safety services.

The seminar, held at Alcatel-Lucent’s campus in Naperville, attracted interest from several providers interested in knowing more about how FirstNet will shape up in their perspective coverage areas.

“We want to play a role as an active partner in planning, and we hope that there is an opportunity for our company to help develop models to save statewide network costs, as well as to provide some of the IP-based building blocks for an LTE-ready network," said Jamey Druger, Alcatel-Lucent Account Director, Strategic Industries. “These are things that can help Illinois in the near term, and done in parallel as a compliment to FirstNet planning.” 

Brad Housewright, eTeam Director for Broadband Illinois, attended the seminar. He said he was impressed the Alcatel-Lucent’s proactive approach in communication about FirstNet.

“Education is a major component of the process,” Housewright said. “Getting everyone to understand how important FirstNet is to emergency services, providers and citizens is vital. This program promises to be a viable way to ensure the highest quality of communication for emergency first responders.”

The program was led by Wim Brouer, Chief Technology Officer of Public Safety at Alctatel-Lucent.

He said that strides forward in technology have led to the very real potential of revolutionizing the way emergency personnel communicate, from on-scene streaming HD video, to medical response, to fleet management.

Housewright said that understanding the potential of the wireless coverage areas and bandwidth available for the network is an important step the initial planning.

FirstNet funding includes $7 billion in buildout for a nationwide LTE network, $135 million in state and local implementation grants nationwide.

Housewright said it’s important for public and private entities to partner in making sure downstate Illinois gets a fair share of the funding.

Druger said Alcatel-Lucent plans to hold further public safety seminars to keep the dialogue between private and public entities lively. The next is likely to occur in early September in Springfield.

“Thursday’s seminar was a great discussion, and the entire team at Alcatel-Lucent is excited about being able to provide further information and seminars to help support FirstNet planning and development for the state,” he said.

Tags: Alcatel-Lucent, Communication Technology, FirstNet, LTE, public safety

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