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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Public safety broadband demonstration project taking place during World Alpine Ski Championships

As part of the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships, the Town of Vail has partnered with Colorado’s Office of Information Technology to bring a public safety broadband network demonstration system to Vail and Beaver Creek. Having gained a temporary license from national FirstNet Board to operate on the public safety-only spectrum, the TOV and Colorado OIT worked with Crown Castle and General Dynamics to place four sites on the Distributed Antenna System in Vail to provide connectivity. A Cell on Wheels was used in Beaver Creek to provide coverage and connectivity back to Vail.

Public safety professionals have been using 30 handheld devices, provided by Sonim, to access apps by Drakontas and ESChat. These two apps provide push-to-talk capabilities and situational awareness for police, fire and emergency management system personnel in the field.

Agency reps Kevin Kromer and Jennifer Kirkland.
During the championships, 50 guests from vendors, media and government agencies have toured the Beaver Creek and Vail site. There were presentations about the project by the Colorado OIT, General Dynamics and Crown Castle. Field responders who used the system during the championships gave positive reviews. The demonstration successfully showed the benefits of a dedicated public safety network, especially in large venues.