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DC Homeland Security Deploys SpectraRep NextGen Broadcast System to Protect National Mall During July 4th Celebration

Photo: A deployment of SpectraRep’s® NextGen Broadcast datacasting software and whip antenna on July 4th prior to the July 4th celebration at the National Mall. The system helped coordinate D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management and six other federal and local public safety agencies. 
CHANTILLY, VA, Aug 2, 2022 – SpectraRep® LLC, in concert with Sinclair/ONE Media announced that it completed a successful NextGen Broadcast pilot of its IncidentOne™ datacasting solution for D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management and six other federal and local public safety agencies.  This application delivered emergency video, alert, and file sharing using the NextGen Broadcast standard (ATSC 3.0) among multiple public safety agencies during the July 4th celebrations at the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Based on the NextGen Broadcast standard, this system offered a new secure wireless network on top of existing communication procedures to facilitate inter-agency sharing of data at unprecedented levels. Employing the NextGen Broadcast facilities of Sinclair Broadcast Group’s station WIAV and partnering with America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) and the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), the pilot program was a significant demonstration of the new capabilities of the Internet Protocol-based standard that dramatically improves television transmission.

IncidentOne™ is an existing enterprise-grade wireless emergency communications solution that uses the power of over-the-air digital television (DTV) technology to deliver operational and crisis incident data quickly and securely. Datacasting with the new and efficient NextGen Broadcast standard supports a more robust transmission signal, higher data capacity, and, for the first time, mobile reception.

“SpectraRep and our partners are extremely pleased that the datacasting pilot supported by ATSC 3.0 – NextGen Broadcasting – provided an enhanced ability to protect the public with more bandwidth and reliable mobile reception around data sharing,” said Mark O’Brien, President of SpectraRep. “As shown during the pilot, our datacasting solution helps first responders identify potential threats and disseminate emergency response information more quickly and efficiently than ever before possible. It remains our goal to increase the ability of emergency responders to have what they need to protect lives.”

O’Brien also noted that the NextGen Broadcast signal provided flexibility for optimizing data capacity and signal reception in both indoor and mobile facilities, which is key to fully supporting public safety professionals in the field. He added that large scale events typically overload cellular systems, making it difficult for public safety departments to communicate and exchange critical data.

Mark Aitken, President of Sinclair’s technology subsidiary, ONE Media 3.0, added, “The advanced datacasting capabilities using the NextGen Broadcast standard is exactly the type of service that broadcasters around the country can provide and is a unique example of why accelerated deployment of these capabilities is so critical. NextGen can save lives.”

During the pilot, SpectraRep deployed datacasting receivers from technology partners DigiCAP and West Pond Technologies with IncidentOne™ software in multiple agency facilities and vehicles. Sites ranged from hardened command posts to mobile command vehicles across the National Mall area. Video, files, alerts, and texts were all transmittable over a NextGen Broadcast-enabled station using SpectraRep’s IncidentOne™ system to agencies equipped with receivers connected to television signal antennas.

Confirming the success of the pilot program is DC Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC), Charles Guddemi, who reported, “We observed success with streaming encrypted video over the datacast signal, and then could successfully target and send that video to other agencies. We also confirmed the ability to send alerts and files to the authorized participating agencies.”

Top successful outcomes from the pilot program include:

  • Safe and secure inter-agency sharing of video, messages and files was achieved using SpectraRep’s IncidentOne™ datacasting solution.
  • Select agencies transmitted secure alert messages that also included attached files.
  • SpectraRep’s datacasting solution reached command staff and decision makers across agencies without requiring access to or interconnection between individual agency secure networks.
  • SpectraRep’s mobile phone video application provided access to handheld video sourced from agency personnel in the field to operations centers.

Technology partners in the pilot program include DigiCAP Ltd., West Pond Technologies, Sinclair Broadcast Group (WIAV) and their technology group ONE Media 3.0, E/M Wave, Inc., Winegard, Inc., Osprey Video, Inc. and SpectraRep LLC. Key Association partners include APTS America’s Public Television Stations, ATSC Advanced Television Systems Committee, and the NAB National Association of Broadcasters.

A case study for the pilot program is available on the SpectraRep website. Click here to download. To learn how to use datacasting in your market, please contact SpectraRep at [email protected].

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