DC area to use wireless network for emergencies

Police, fire and other emergency personnel in the Washington area are turning to open standards and instant messaging to overcome their inability to communicate via proprietary voice radio systems.

This wireless instant messaging system will accomplish what the agencies' voice radio communications cannot, and that's the means to seamlessly communicate with police, fire, medical and other agencies that may be responding to an emergency. It will also give rescue workers access to multiple state and federal databases.

The project, called the Capital Wireless Integrated Network, or CapWIN, was envisioned before Sept. 11 and grew out of frustration over the communication problems that Washington, Virginia and Maryland agencies have had in coordinating responses to traffic problems.

But the terrorist attacks underscored the importance of interoperable communication systems, said officials, and Congress approved US$20 million for it. IBM Corp. was selected this month to undertake the project.

Government and company officials said key to IBM's selection, one of six vendors vying for the project, was meeting the project's design criteria, which included use of open standards, off-the-shelf technologies and easy maintenance.

"We had to provide a very open-standards-based approach. The customer did not want a proprietary solution; they did not want to be vendor-dependent," said Kent Blossom, IBM's director of safety and security services for IBM Public Sector.

The system will be based on Web standards, XML and Java and will use IBM's MQ messaging technology. It will be designed to support up to 10,000 users from some 40 agencies.

The project is being managed by the Center for Advanced Transportation Technology at the University of Maryland, which will provide the communications bridge for the system.

Fred Davis, deputy director of the CapWIN project, said that as far as he knows, the project tying three different jurisdictions is unique. "This has never been approached before, that I'm aware of, in this large of a scale," he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?