News

FCC chairman calls for more competition ahead of incentive auction

"The job of the FCC is to exercise its authority with both discretion and determination so that technology, competition, investment and consumer empowerment are able to work together to reach our nation's broadband goals," Chairman Tom Wheeler told the Brookings Institution June 26.

FirstNet studying methods to improve location detection in tall buildings, underground

Pinpointing locations inside skyscrapers or in subway tunnels can be difficult even for first responders using mobile devices' location-based functions. Now, officials at the First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, are looking at ways to overcome those obstacles.

Europe agrees to end mobile roaming charges, implement net neutrality over next 2 years

Under the new agreement, consumers will pay the same price for calls, texts, and mobile data by June 2017. Europe will also have the "strongest and most comprehensive open Internet rules in the world" by April 2016. 

DISA makes classified mobile access program fully operational, plans to triple number of users

The Defense Mobile Classified Capability–Secret has moved out of the pilot phase with the latest release that provides improved call interoperability, failover or redundancy, and a new mobile device management system.

W3C prepping technical report on mobile accessibility

Digital content managers at federal agencies will soon have actionable best practices for making mobile information more accessible to persons with disabilities. The W3C, an international group that sets standards and guidance for accessible technology, as well as evaluation criteria for conformance, will build on a draft document published in February to create an informative technical report on mobile accessibility.

ITU establishes roadmap for development of 5G networks by 2020

The International Telecommunication Union has established a roadmap and timeline for the development of 5G mobile technology with a launch goal of 2020, says a June 19 ITU statement.

Library of Congress gives mobile access to blind, physically disabled users of Android devices

Patrons registered with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped can download books, magazines and music through the Braille and Audio Reading Download app, which has just been released for devices running Android OS 4.1 or later.

Next-gen PIV cards provide federal employees with secure mobile access

New technical specifications from the National Institute of Standards and Technology enable smart identity card holders to access government computer networks from mobile devices.

Mobile is enabling mission say DHS, HHS officials

Mobile technology is a critical tool for delivering citizen services at the Homeland Security and Health and Human Services departments, said federal officials.

New poll finds 8% of California households dependent on smartphones for Internet access

Overall, the digital divide survey found that nearly four in five households, or 79 percent, have a broadband connection at home – including DSL, cable, satellite, fiber optic to a desktop, laptop or tablet computer and through a smartphone – up from 75 percent last year. 

Testing apps' usability doesn't have to cost a lot, says GSA

The government's need to offer mobile apps is obvious – as is the need to test their usability before agencies release them for public use. To make such studies easier and less expensive, the General Services Administration's DigitalGov team suggests a few methods.

FirstNet finds its footing, officials say

The First Responder Network Authority, known as FirstNet, continued its march through Congress this week with a stop at a House subcommittee, where officials largely lauded its progress.

Workers will warm to advanced mobile technology, say government officials

The adoption of wearable technology and the Internet of Things within federal enterprises raises a host of workforce policy questions, but government representatives speaking at a recent industry event said they will inevitably be overcome.

DHS officials tout resilient communications, capabilities under proposed FirstNet system

For example, fast broadband connectivity will allow Customs and Border Protection agents to use the full range of capabilities offered by smartphones such as mission-critical apps, geospatial services and the ability take video and transmit it to central headquarters. 

Federal agencies need to develop clear guidance, perform cost analysis for BYOD programs

The Advanced Technology Academic Research Center and Mitre Corp. recently released a report that summarized collaborative sessions, including one on a bring-your-own-device program, during the Federal Mobile Computing Summit in February.

Audit: Little progress on interoperable radio communications among DHS agencies

In a November 2012 report, the DHS inspector general found that less than 0.25 percent of the 479 radio users tested could access and use the common channel. Additionally, only 78 of 382 radios tested, or about 20 percent, had all the correct program settings for the common channel.

User experience driving agencies' move to mobile

The Homeland Security Department's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is bringing a user-centered approach to its public interaction and, as a result, the agency has made recent strides in the mobile space.

FirstNet projects progress, but challenges remain

The First Responder Network Authority continues to make progress as the Public Safety Advisory Committee, whose mission is to help FirstNet carry out its duties and responsibilities, hears its first formal update on pilot projects. The purpose of each project is to collect lessons learns on specific technical or management challenges.

Digital privacy and mobile device surveillance bills advance in California

Two California Senate bills – one mandating that law enforcement get a warrant before accessing electronic communications and another requiring public comment before cell phone intercept technology can be adopted locally – have advanced in the last week and a half.

Army showcases cigarette-pack sized device providing soldiers' locations without GPS signal

The Warfighter Integrated Navigation System's sensors calculate a soldier's current location using footsteps, speed, acceleration, time and even altitude from his or her last known location.