Public-safety agencies leverage FirstNet spectrum during Phish concert

Public-safety officials in the Denver area were able to use the First Responder Network Authority's Band 14 spectrum to access network databases during a three-day concert event by the band Phish at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. The city is located in Adams County, which is leasing 700 MHz spectrum from FirstNet for use by its ADCOM911 communications center.

According to IWCE's Urgent Communications, in past years local law enforcement relied upon commercial carrier cellular networks to access databases of warrants or criminal records of concert attendees during the annual event. But those networks were often jammed with data traffic generated by concertgoers, preventing law enforcement from accessing the information it needed.

This year, however, first responders benefitted from an ADCOM911 deployment that included a Band 14 cell on wheels (COW), two LTE eNodeBs from General Dynamics C4 Systems and Intrado's THOR Shield mobile emergency-communications vehicle. Speeds on the LTE network reached 45-60 Mbps.

However, use of the dedicated public-safety LTE network was limited by a shortage of available Band 14 LTE devices, said Gary Pulford, director of channels for Intrado's government solutions division. Therefore, most LTE connectivity was between the ADCOM911 facility and a first-responder vehicle, which supported a Wi-Fi hotspot officers on the scene could access. For more, see this Urgent Communications article.