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9/21/09 - 14 organizations to test multi-band radio

A multi-band radio to improve communications among first responders and partner agencies is in the final testing and evaluation stage. Homeland Security's Multi-Band Radio Project hopes to vastly improve communications during an emergency. Conventional radios only operate in specific frequencies, and according to Government Computer News, this prevents responders and agencies from talking on other channels. Fourteen organizations, including Customs and Amtrak, will conduct 30-day tests.

Tags: Technology , Homeland Security

Monday - 09/21/2009, 05:11pm EDT

9/14/09 - Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense

Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense have been working for more than a decade on sharing health data but more work still needs to be done. According to a new report, the two agencies aren't ready to be fully inter-operable in their sharing of electronic medical data. While some progress has been made, VA and DOD still need to expand the inpatient records systems and hire more full-time employees to establish accountability for the department's interoperability efforts.

Tags: Technology , VA , DoD , health

Friday - 09/11/2009, 01:08pm EDT

9/7/09 - Steps have been taken

Steps have been taken, but more needs to be done. That's the findings of a new report about emergency coordination between agencies. The Government Accountability Office says the two organizations responsible for assisting first responders. Homeland Security and the FCC have not established a common vision for an inter-operable public safety policy. The report calls for better alignment between the FCC's interoperable network and Homeland Security's National Emergency Communications Plan.

Tags: Technology , GAO , FCC

Friday - 09/11/2009, 01:05pm EDT

6/29/09 - NIST looks to improve e-voting experience

A vote of confidence for new federal guidelines could improve your experience on Election Day. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released a new draft of standards which address hardware, usability and security issues for electronic voting machines. NIST said the guidelines if adopted by state and local governments will improve government and voter confidence, and help manufacturers. The public can comment on the new methods until early July.

Tags: Technology , NIST

Tuesday - 07/14/2009, 05:48pm EDT

6/22/09 - Improving interoperability during a crisis

Interoperability among certain agencies is critical during an emergency that's why the Department of Homeland Security is close to finishing improvements to one of its technical standards. A government official says an enhanced Bridging Systems Interface will allow for a better connection between radio systems and provide improved communication among first responders. DHS tested the standard with six radio patch working boxes in 2008, and another 12 earlier this year. DHS hopes to complete the upgrade this summer.

Tags: Technology , Department of Homeland Security

Tuesday - 07/14/2009, 05:46pm EDT

7/13/09 - Army pushes for Push-to-Talk

A more dialed in Iraq warfighter that's the idea behind the Army's new satellite communications "on the move" device. The solution will include a compact device that integrates land and satellite communications with a push-to-talk interface. This will enable the Army to utilize cross-band capabilities so personnel can take advantage of both communication links. Once deployed, the device will provide greater situational awareness and speed and flexibility to fast moving forces in Iraq.

Tags: Technology , Iraq , Army

Tuesday - 07/14/2009, 06:06pm EDT

7/6/09 - Better radios could mean better interoperability

Homeland Security will soon play guinea pig to a new multi-frequency radio that may improve interoperability during an emergency. A pilot program will evaluate multi-band, hand held radios that would allow first responders to talk on different frequencies. DHS says the program which will include 14 organizations would provide users with improved incident communications capabilities. The only potential snag? Convincing the first response community the equipment is a good investment.

Tags: Technology , DHS

Tuesday - 07/14/2009, 05:52pm EDT