MCP Insights

Subscribe to Newsletter

Recent Posts

Data Integration Infographic Brings a Vast Technology Ecosystem Into Perspective

The technology ecosystem that exists in the public-safety/justice community is vast, complex and powerful. Because of its vastness and complexity, we developed an infographic to help clients more easily grasp it. Here’s what it looks like:

MCP Makes Best-of-Breed Technology Procurements Easy and Painless

Since the firm’s launching 12 years ago, Mission Critical Partners has participated in hundreds of technology procurements. We are proud that our clients trust the support that we provide. The foundation for that trust can be found in two important factors.

Be Wary of Using Commercial Broadband Networks for Public Safety Voice

More than ever, broadband communications networks are essential to the public safety and justice communities. Such networks easily transmit highly bandwidth-intensive files, e.g., video and building floor plans, that would choke a narrowband network. Such files enhance situational awareness for incident commanders and other officials—as well as emergency responders and jail/prison officers—by orders of magnitude, which in turn helps them do their jobs better.

But there’s a flip side to broadband communications networks of which the public safety community needs to take seriously. Such networks typically are owned and operated by commercial entities, and because of this public safety agencies that contract for broadband services typically do not receive the performance guarantees and—even more importantly—the visibility into these networks that they’re used to receiving from the networks that they own and operate, for example, their land mobile radio (LMR) systems.

Consequently, public safety agencies should proceed carefully when they consider whether to contract with any commercial entity for broadband services.

A Few Thoughts on Data Integration for Public Safety Agencies

There was a time, not that long ago, when voice communications were king in the public safety community, and data communications were an afterthought. This largely was driven by the limitations of narrowband wireless systems. In the earliest days of data communications, such systems delivered throughput rates of 9,600 baud, which enabled the equivalent of text messages. Things improved a bit when data generated to and from field personnel was transmitted via air cards provisioned by commercial wireless carriers, but only modestly—the largest files that could be transmitted then were mug shots, and they often took a long time to arrive, if they arrived at all.

Policies and Training are Critical to Effective Body-Worn Camera Usage

The Chicago Sun-Times recently published a story that provides a cautionary tale that should be heeded by any law enforcement agency that is providing, or thinking of providing, body-worn cameras to its sworn officers.

The Case for Private Long-Term Evolution Networks for Power Utilities

Next month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to vote on reconfiguring the 900 MHz band for the deployment of broadband services and technologies. This is an important issue that Mission Critical Partners (MCP) has been tracking for some time, and we are encouraged to see a conclusion on the horizon. 

Public Safety Broadband: So Many Choices

Earlier this month, T-Mobile announced a public safety broadband offering, with the caveat that it is contingent on their successful merger with Sprint. Details about the offering were limited, but the important issue is that this is now the third major wireless broadband carrier, joining AT&T/FirstNet and Verizon Wireless, to potentially offer specialized features to first responders. This raises a couple of important questions: What does this all mean to public safety; and how do public safety agencies choose the network that’s right for them?

Webinar Next Week to Explore Public Safety Broadband and NG911 Integration in ECCs

For decades, public safety has suffered from a siloed approach to implementing communications networks, one that has made interoperable communications an extremely challenging, costly and time-consuming endeavor, and in some cases, a proverbial “mission impossible.” An opportunity exists to flip the script, one that MCP will explore in depth in a new live webinar scheduled to be held on October 31 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern/11 a.m. Pacific.

Understanding What is Good in Public Safety Communications Networks

A key component of effective emergency response is the ability for first responders to communicate with each other, and with their dispatch or control center. Not only is it critical that they can communicate across a common network platform and within the same agency, it is equally important that they have the ability to communicate with first responders from other agencies across disparate platforms. Interoperability between agencies and first responders is a critical consideration for the effectiveness of any wireless network. However, network interoperability is only the tip of the iceberg.

When it Comes to the Public Safety Communications Ecosystem Siloed Thinking Must End

The first 911 call was made 51 years ago in Alabama. That call marked a significant technological advancement that enabled citizens to activate an emergency response much quicker and more efficiently than ever before. Since then, public safety officials have continued to leverage communications technology advancements to make emergency response even more efficient and effective. These include the advent of Enhanced 911 (E911) service, digital land mobile radio (LMR) networks, and the introduction of computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems and mapping applications. The counterbalance is that these advancements occurred in distinct silos that developed within the emergency communications ecosystem.

Public safety needs visibility into the NPSBN’s design

For a while now, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) has been describing the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) that it is implementing in partnership with AT&T as a “mission-critical” communications network for public safety. And it is entirely possible that the network will live up to its promise. But that is not the type of thing that the public safety sector will accept on face value—it is going to need proof. That’s just the way it is in public safety, a sector where lives are on the line and seconds count, every day.