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Emergency Services Communications: Resilience for the Twenty-First Century

Jennifer Cole and Ed Hawker
Occasional Papers, 29 May 2014
Terrorism and Conflict, Policing and Security, Resilience
An independent look at the options available for replacing or evolving the current Airwave Network

This Future Communications Study addresses concerns amongst the BAPCO membership that the replacement/evolution of the current Emergency Services Network (ESN) may compromise essential functionality for economic savings.

In particular, there are concerns regarding the ability of an ESN to be run effectively over a commercial network shared with other users, rather than on a bespoke network created for, and used exclusively by, the E&PSS (as the Airwave Network is). While the current economic situation and drive for austerity cannot be ignored, neither must the efficacy of the emergency services be sacrificed in the drive for a cheaper solution.

This study takes an independent look at the options available for replacing or evolving the current Airwave Network and provides historical context to the use of communications by the emergency services. Perhaps more importantly, it explains the basic scientific principles behind the technology available and the advantages and disadvantages of the available options. It is not meant to repeat, nor critique, the work of the ESMCP, but rather to help key stakeholders involved in making the decisions understand the cultural and political context, as well as the economic and scientific benefits that can be provided by modern communications technology.

Jennifer Cole
Associate Fellow

Dr Jennifer Cole is an Associate Fellow at RUSI. She was previously Senior Research Fellow, Resilience and Emergency Management from... read more

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