News Feature | February 25, 2015

Government IT News For VARs 2-25-15: Public Safety LTE Network Emerges

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Government IT News For VARs — December 3, 2014

In the news, a new public safety long-term evolution (LTE) network emerges in Boston, Google opposes an amendment to allow feds to use remote hacking, and critics warn that federal law lags behind drone technology. Also, federal agencies are choosing network functions virtualization (NFV).

Feds And First Responders Create Public Safety LTE Network

A new partnership between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) and First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) will increase first responders’ ability to communicate during a disaster, according to Fed Tech Magazine. The result is the nation’s first interoperable public safety broadband network. Operating on the nationwide 700-megahertz spectrum, the network will be built with LTE wireless technology, and will allow first responders from all levels to gain a “unified view of a situation as it unfold, sharing data, images, video, and voice communications.” FirstNet spokesman Ryan Oremland called it “the Internet for public safety.”

Google Raises Objections To Proposal To Give Feds Remote Hacking Authority

The E-Commerce Times reports that Google is among the voices that have raised strong objections to a new proposal that would allow federal agencies to hack into computers around the globe. CDT’s Harley Geiger said that this proposal “raises a host of data security, constitutional, and international law issues.” The Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, which advises the Judicial Conference of the United States, is considering the proposed amendment to Rule 41 of the United States Criminal Code. The amendment would allow investigators to remotely access identifying information from a device via tracking software installed via email.

Federal Law Lags Behind Drone Technology

With the development and proliferation of drones for various uses — including law enforcement — legal experts warn that federal law has lagged behind the new technology, according to Government Technology. As the issue becomes more urgent, state lawmakers are stepping up to address such privacy concerns in New Mexico, advancing a bill in the State Senate that would require any state law enforcement agency to obtain a warrant specifying what images may be collected by drones used for investigations.

Federal Agencies To Go NFV As A Mainstream Solution

According to Fed Tech Magazine, techs are touting the benefits of virtualizing network functions as federal agencies prepare for NFV technology. NFV serves to decouple common network services from hardware. As many of the major network and virtualization players begin to invest in NFV technology, the Justice Department is expected to implement NFV services over the next three to five years.

Competition For the Federal Cloud Market Heats Up

Solutions providers are engaging in heated competition for the growing federal cloud market, according to the E-Commerce Times. Competition is falling into three main categories of providers: system integrators, cloud-centric providers, and telecoms. The competition accompanies the migration of federal IT resources to cloud platforms. IDC Government Insights reports that The U.S. federal government spent approximately $3.4 billion for cloud in fiscal 2014, and IDC estimates that this will grow to almost $10 billion by 2018.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Government IT Resource Center.