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ARCIA Share Knowledge With International Organisations on Planning and Implementation of Public Safety Networks.

Earlier this year ARCIA received an invitation from FirstNet USA, a public safety mobile broadband organisation, to attend their International Public Safety Wireless Forum in Washington. FirstNet is an authority within the USA Federal Government and was established out of the reviews of public safety operations following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In the ten years since the recommendation to establish FirstNet was made, the organisation has surveyed all jurisdictions, public safety agencies and first responders to establish a set of requirements for a nationwide dedicated mobile broadband network.

FirstNet hosted the International Public Safety Wireless Forum to give an opportunity for other nations and international organisations to share knowledge on the planning and implementation of public safety mobile broadband and establish networking opportunities. Representatives from Australia (including Ian Miller from ARCIA) joined invitees from the United Kingdom, Korea, Canada, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

Several members of the FirstNet team outlined their progress to date, including how they determined the requirements and the options for installation of the nationwide network. The presentations were quite detailed and gave attendees pointers on how to develop the necessary plans for implementing mobile broadband. Following the FirstNet presentation, each of the other nations in attendance gave an overview of their own progress to date, with the United Kingdom apparently well down the track towards a system operating as an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) operating on the EE mobile network. Australia reported that it is presently looking into options following on from the Ministerial statements from November of last year.

Attending the FirstNet International Public Safety Wireless Forum was an excellent opportunity for ARCIA to gather information and to become a resource for Governments and first responders in Australia as the planning and development of requirements for our local PSMB systems takes place. We were pleased to open the discussions with FirstNet and look forward to welcoming some key FirstNet personnel to Australia later in the year for Comms Connect.