Donny Jackson

Urgent Communications

Donny Jackson is editor of Urgent Communications magazine. Before joining UC in 2002, he covered telecommunications for four years as a freelance writer and as news editor for Telephony magazine. Prior to that, he worked for suburban newspapers in the Dallas area, serving as editor-in-chief for the Irving News and the Las Colinas Business News.


Apple to utilize RapidSOS to deliver 911 caller-location information to PSAPs
Apple announces that its devices will utilize RapidSOS technology to share location data with public safety when emergency calls are made using iOS 12, an upgrade to the Apple operating-system platform that is scheduled to be released later this year.
Zetron announces improved 911 location results from RapidSOS pilot project in Tennessee
Zetron announces results from a pilot project using integrated location information from partner RapidSOS to deliver significantly better caller-location data quickly to public-safety answering points (PSAPs) receiving emergency calls
Univ. of Oxford: Pedro Gusmao demos navigation system designed to help locate firefighters
Pedro Gusmao, a researcher at the University of Oxford in England, explains how his team is developing a algorithm that can leverage dead-reckoning technology and inertial sensors to estimate the location of a firefighter or other first responder, even when network infrastructure is not available.
Univ. of Virginia: Homa Alemzadeh, Mustafa Hotaki showcase 'Siri for first responders' to help EMS
Homa Alemzadeh and Mustafa Hotaki demonstrate how voice-recognition technology can be combined with analytics and artificial intelligence to help EMS personnel provide medical care with greater accuracy and efficiency, particular when responding to large-scale incidents.
Congress considering proposal to auction public safety’s 4.9 GHz spectrum instead of T-Band
Staff for the House Energy and Commerce Committee is drafting a bill that would let public-safety agencies continue to utilize T-Band spectrum but would have the FCC conduct an incentive auction for the 50 MHz of 4.9 GHz spectrum currently dedicated for public-safety use.
Cornell University: Kolbeinn Karlsson explains how blockchain technology can help public safety
Kolbeinn Karlsson, an electrical and computer engineering PhD student at Cornell University, discusses his research to explore the potential use of blockchain technology—best known as a key component for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin—as a secure method for public safety to enter and access data securely in sensitive databases.
TRX Systems: Carol Politi highlights company's partnerships, deployment successes
TRX Systems President and CEO Carol Politi explains how partnerships are helping the company realize widespread deployments and notes recent developments in its location technology.
FirstNet, AT&T announce nationwide availability of subscriber-paid/BYOD offering
Primary public-safety agencies with little or no budget to pay for their personnel to have broadband services can utilize a FirstNet subscriber-paid—or bring your own device (BYOD)—offering recently made available nationwide at 5,300 AT&T retail stores and online outlets, according to an AT&T official.
AT&T’s extreme-weather drone provides new LTE coverage option in difficult environments
AT&T announces a tethered drone that is designed to operate as a cell on wings (COW) that can provide broadband coverage in extreme weather conditions—a capability that promises to be valuable to AT&T, enterprise customers and first responders, according to an AT&T official.
IoT initiatives need good business cases, solution providers to ensure adoption, Avnet exec says
Enterprises seeking to leverage Internet of Things (IoT) technology need clear business cases and vendors that provide end-to-end solutions with long-term support before they will be willing to adopt IoT, according to an executive from Avnet, a leading IoT company.
Carnegie Mellon University: Anthony Rowe showcases firefighter-location technology
Anthony Rowe, associate professor in the electrical and computer engineering department at Carnegie Mellon University, demonstrates how an incident commander could leverage ultrawideband (UWB) beacon technology to track the location of firefighters, even when there is no traditional network infrastructure available.
NYU and Austin FD: Marco Mezzavilla and Alex Zottarelli discuss mm-wave project, benefits of collaboration
Marco Mezzavilla (left) of New York Univesity and Alex Zottarelli of the Austin Fire Department, explain the goals of their high-capity, millimeter-wave research project for public safety and highlight the benefits that can be realized when first responders and technologists cooperative to tackle communications issues.
PSCR: Margaret Pinson outlines goals of video-quality research project
Margaret Pinson, a computer engineer for the Institute for Telecommunications Services (ITS), explains how video-quality research could be used to develop algorithms that would help first responders and others at an incident scene record video in a way that is most helpful to the evidentiary and/or recovery processes.
PSCR: Dereck Orr discusses research prize challenges, infusion of new talent to tackle public-safety issues
Dereck Orr, program manager for the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), describes the growth of the annual PSCR Broadband Stakeholders meeting, highlighting the influx of new technical talent participating in PSCR's grant programs and prize challenges.
FirstNet’s Swenson cites public-safety progress, points to future changes, potential business models 1
​SAN DIEGO—Public-safety adoption of FirstNet is proceeding well during the first months of the first-responder network being available, and the pace of change within the sector could accelerate in the future, according to FirstNet Chairwoman Sue Swenson.
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