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Old 09-13-2005, 06:45 PM   #1
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Wireless to Save Lives

Here's an interesting proposal for an internet-style emergency response system by former FCC commissioner Reed Hundt and Net guru Carl Malamud from AmericanProgress:

Quote:
The United States should allocate a part of our spectrum to emergency responders. While there is a huge debate in Washington about how to divvy up the spectrum among the many competing uses, in this case there is no reason for any debate. Congress can authorize the FCC to dedicate a chunk of spectrum to an emergency response system.... After allocating spectrum, the government should specify the access mechanism. There is nothing to invent here: something like WiFi and the Internet is the obvious solution. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Instead, the government should simply ask the standards bodies that define specifications for WiFi and the Internet to specify which of their existing standards need to be used. The important point is that any standards used should be free from any patent, or licensing considerations that would hinder open source development efforts. What could you do with this spectrum? A look in any PC magazine or at the thousands of blogs devoted to hardware shows that a lot of what you want out of an emergency response system already exists in the wild on the Internet. Indeed, when the city of New Orleans needed to restablish communication with the outside world, a PC and an Internet phone call were the Mayor's only communications link....
When you think of the lives Wi-Fi or WiMax could have saved during and after the hurricane, it is truly mindboggling.

via Tim O'Reilly's blog
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Old 09-14-2005, 05:20 AM   #2
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Interesting idea to use some kind of existing connectivity, such as WiFi, for new emergency response systems. But how exactly should it work? I don't think WiFi was of much use anymore once the hurricance blew over the city.
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Old 09-14-2005, 09:32 AM   #3
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WiFi, or more specifically WiMax in mesh networks (bring trucks in with their own access points and generators) were used in the NO area. This would be an excellent idea, and one that would be able to foster quicker response from many of the agencies and depts. that need to get mobilized quickly. I think the investment would also have to include wifi phones or PDAs so that in case of emergencies when this is deployed, there is little one has to do on either end to reintroduce to the tech. Great idea. Hope that politics and money dont keep it from coming to pass.
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Old 09-14-2005, 10:30 AM   #4
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This is more about opening the spectrum. It's probably a big misnomer to think about Wi-Fi and to think more about WiMax, though something to be said for 11n capabilities.
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Old 09-14-2005, 02:10 PM   #5
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Sorry, I should point out that I was replying to doctorow.
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