This research article details long-standing reliability issues associated with public safety communications and explores a novel operational model using wireless broadband.
Programming, management, and interoperability of land mobile radios within the public safety sector have long been salient issues for policymakers, practitioners, service vendors, and scholars. Despite receiving substantial attention in the form of government expenditure and agency task forces, there has only been moderate advancement in this concerning area. Recently, as part of a US Department of Justice-funded effort, an innovative technology known as wireless broadband over-the-air-programming (OTAP) has been translated from a conceptual model to an operational deployment. OTAP technology holds significant promise to enhance the management of public safety communications via land mobile radios. This research presents the concept of OTAP, the engineering behind the recently developed broadband enabled OTAP prototype and conceptualizes how this technology can impact the processes used to facilitate public safety interoperability within the context of portable radio programming.