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I am pleased to announce the success of S&T’s First Responders Group’s game changing datacasting system. Recently, the City of Houston and its first responders used our datacasting system at both the NCAA Men’s Final Four Basketball Tournament on April 1-4, and the Republican Presidential Candidates’ Debate on February 25. Because of the system, we were able to securely share information between different responding agencies.
FRG’s datacasting system allowed public safety officials and responders to securely send and stream encrypted video, text messaging, and other files using a dedicated portion of digital broadcast television spectrum. Using the datacasting system, they were able to view live streaming footage from various security cameras stationed throughout the stadium and surrounding areas on their tablets and computers from their command posts. They also captured and uploaded live footage from their post locations to share with nearby safety personnel and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This greatly increased situational awareness and the ability to monitor and respond to any potential safety issues, especially in areas where they have limited cameras and areas with no coverage at all.
They also used the datacasting network to share EOC displays and live video feeds of crowd convergence from the Houston Police Department helicopters. Previously, the city of Houston was unable to bridge communication, share content, and connect to numerous security cameras around the building and surrounding areas, such as main arteries of nearby streets and freeways.
I was told it took a great deal of time and planning to have these events run as they did. And that it would not have been possible without the support and dedication of the S&T team. It’s really great seeing how our hard work and service in support of the first responder community can help improve the overall resilience and reliability of public safety communications.
These events provided us an opportunity to extend the datacasting capability to more participants, allow those participants to receive training to operate the system, and demonstrate the capabilities of datacasting and of its applicability to a number of day-to-day public safety challenges. We truly hope to see this tool employed throughout the nation. I’m looking forward to S&T’s continued partnership with the City of Houston and all its future collaborations on public safety efforts.