NIST, NTIA Launch Public Safety Test Bed


NIST and NTIA are looking for partners for a new public safety test bed, according to a recently released NIST news update. The Commerce Department’s Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) is looking for private sector partners to be part of the test bed for public safety networking. Members of the test bed will evaluate broadband software and equipment aimed at a future first responders network.

So far, 39 companies have signed on to be part of the test bed. The PSCR is a joint effort of NIST and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Some of the work done through test bed partners will go to inform standards for first responder communications as well as aspects of FirstNet deployment.

The test bed is called the Public Safety Broadband Demonstration Network, and has been operating for 5 years.

As CivSource has previously reported, FirstNet is monitoring a wide range of projects to inform how it moves forward with the eventual buildout of the FirstNet network.

FirstNet is also continuing its own work. According to a recent blog post from the FirstNet CTO, the organization is working on developing a mobile communications unit to help first responders communicate when they are outside of terrestrial coverage. The vehicle would contain a router and strong antennas to provide access to communications networks.