Mission Critical Networks!
WILLIAM BROWNLOW, TELECOMMUNICATIONS MANAGER, THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS
Deigned to a Tougher Standard
First responders often find themselves in the eye of the storm. It’s the nature of the job; a job that requires considerable personal danger and risk. Voice and data communications keep them connected, informed and safe. It is their most powerful weapon.
In both routine and extreme situations, public safety responders need reliable communications to do their jobs, to keep citizens and communities safe. But what does that really mean? It means emergency calls connect instantly. First responder group calls are established in under a second. Resources from multiple jurisdictions collaborate and deploy quickly.
Communications simply cannot fail when lives are at stake and every second counts. Mission critical networks and devices ensure that they won’t. These solutions are different by design and their proven, dependable performance in daily operations, countless storms, earthquakes and major public safety incidents underscores why purpose-built mission critical technologies matter. There simply is no substitute.
When Superstorm Sandy came roaring ashore in October of 2012, private, mission critical networks worked as designed. Public safety officials and government agencies could communicate and coordinate responses across multiple jurisdictions and multiple departments. Public networks, on the other hand, took a major hit:
- – At the storm’s peak, 25 percent of the region’s commercial cell sites were knocked out of service
- – Nearly 9 percent of these sites were still inoperable a week after the storm, and some public carrier users reported nationwide network performance impacts
This scenario is not unusual. In many emergency situations, commercial networks become overloaded, lose power and fail. Why? Because the public reaches immediately for their mobile phones – to check on family, call for help, etc. – inundating the network with voice and data traffic causing the network to be unavailable. If public safety agencies relied on commercial networks, they would be just another customer, not distinguished in importance from any other and would risk lack of availability at potentially critical times. The ability for first responders to communicate quickly and reliably protects lives and property. Anything less is a risk no community can afford.
Despite the destructive power demonstrated by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast, public safety systems in New York City remained operable for the entire incident.
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