New Network for Emergency Workers Raises Concerns among Media

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The police chief of the state of Alaska’s largest city hurried out of his department’s glass building during a major earthquake not too long ago.

Telephone communications failed to work and even police radios were having problems after the earthquake. But, Anchorage Police Chief Justin Doll’s mobilephone had recently been connected to a national wireless network designed for emergency workers.

Doll was able to reach other officials who had the new high-speed connection after the 7.1 magnitude quake last year caused widespread damage.

It proved to be the first major test in Alaska for the FirstNet network. Doll and other commanders had just agreed to take part in the test with their personal mobile phones. The important calls, made possible by FirstNet, helped emergency workers set up an operations center and organize the response to the November 30 earthquake.

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