Mutualink Statement on Congressional FirstNet Hearing

Mutualink, Inc. issued the following statement in advance of the congressional hearing, "Oversight of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and Emergency Communications.”

The hearing will be conducted by the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Communications and Technology at 10:30 a.m. EST on March 14.

Mutualink president Colin McWay commented:

“It is absolutely vital for public safety officials and all related entities to be able to communicate freely and with complete technological compatibility in emergency situations. We’re pleased the FirstNet initiative is under way thanks to the bipartisan action Congress took last year. The goal of a single nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network is critical for our nation’s first responders and it will unlock important new capabilities.

“As FirstNet takes shape, proven technology that enables true multimedia interoperability is already deployed and in active use today. Mutualink’s Interoperable Response and Preparedness Platform (IRAPP) is comprised of more than 1,000 public and private entities nationwide. It has proven effective in emergency situations ranging from the Miracle on the Hudson to Hurricane Sandy.

“The IRAPP actually goes a step further than FirstNet by connecting not just first responders, but also Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR) such as hospitals, schools, utilities, shopping malls, and more. IRAPP technology enables all of these entities to securely share multimedia communications in real time — including voice, video, text and data — using disparate and legacy systems.

“Once FirstNet is operational, the IRAPP will integrate with it seamlessly and enhance it by expanding its reach beyond first responders. In the meantime, public safety officials and key private sector communities are achieving interoperability today with an effective, proven, and affordable system.”