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On the eleventh episode of The NEDAS Live! Podcast (hosted by Ilissa Miller, President of NEDAS, CEO of iMiller Public Relations and co-founder of the IND-DCA; and Steve Yapsuga, Co-Chair of the NEDAS Advisory Council and North American Director of Sales for Comba Telecom), the show welcomed Guy Jouannelle. Guy is the Founder of Jouannelle Consulting and the CEO of Infra-Training, and he has also served as Senior Public Safety Program Manager for the District of Columbia’s Office of Unified Communications (OUC). 

To start this installment of the program, Steve begins by acknowledging the sad fact that high numbers of public safety issues (he cites school shootings) have made it more necessary than ever for capable communications to be ubiquitous. Nowadays, ensuring better public safety means that people need to be able to pick up their phones and make that emergency call to reliably reach first responders. 

As an industry insider with a history in public safety communications, and as an individual serving as a catalyst for this type of change in the U.S., Guy delved into his career trajectory and discussed how he got into public safety communications. He was first brought on by the District in an effort to find and allocate spectrum that would enable broadband for first responders and evaluate which technologies would be able to support their unique needs. He explains that, because there was no dedicated spectrum to support this at the time, he and his team worked on an advocacy program that helped to spread awareness about this important facet of communications. Eventually, he spearheaded the design, implementation and operation of the first wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety in the area. Down the line, this development would prove to be a key step toward the later development of FirstNet.

FirstNet, which provides nation-wide service to first responders, is one of the most ambitious projects for this public safety section of communications in U.S. history. As an aggressive initiative, this aims to provide unified communications across the country with a long-term, 25-year contract with AT&T. 

As an absolutely vital segment of tomorrow’s connectivity and communications ecosystem, supporting and realizing development in public safety is of paramount importance — especially as concerns over dangerous events remain on the rise. Opportunities for enhancing first responders’ ability to react to crisis and amplifying their abilities to save lives are abundant, including the use of smart visors with digital displays, real-time analytics of oxygen levels or IoT-based visibility into where victims may be within buildings. However, creating efficiencies and advancements is something that will only come when the ecosystem makes progress together. 

To encourage and facilitate this collective progress, NEDAS, an association located at the intersection of wireline and wireless, brings attention to communications demands (like those associated with public safety), amplifying them and encouraging productive discussion through its core dedication to education and collaboration. Through its programs, webinars and regional conferences in key areas such as Washington D.C., Boston and New York City, NEDAS remains committed to empowering decision makers and facilitating problem solving that can create a ubiquitously connected future and a safer tomorrow. 

To read the previous blog about NEDAS Live! Episode ten, please click here

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