Broadband & Spectrum
To help supply the demand for workers in the wireless industry, public- and private-sector entities are joining forces.
Midway through a 10-year effort to make more spectrum available to meet increased wireless connectivity demands, the government is nearly halfway to its goal.
More than three dozen telecommunications companies have signed up to participate in an independent test bed to evaluate advanced broadband equipment and software for first responders.
Specifically, the polling organization found that half of all Americans who own smartphones check their devices several times an hour if not more frequently, while another fifth say they only check their phone about once an hour.
The organization building an interoperable broadband communications network for police, firefighters, paramedics and other first responders wants to develop mobile systems that would provide temporary coverage for emergency personnel when they're outside the network.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.