Cloud computing moves into public safety

Cloud computing has made inroads into state and local public safety communications with the rollout of a software-as-a-service solution to link radio systems.

Twisted Pair Solutions of Seattle is partnering with Fpweb.net, a managed hosting services provider, to provide interoperability-as-a-service solutions powered by cloud computing to state and local agencies, the companies announced April 14.

In cloud computing, tasks are moved off agencies’ servers and onto shared data centers accessed via the Internet. For public safety, the goal is to combine cloud computing with voice-over-IP radio systems to achieve communications across disparate radio systems and networks, the companies said.

Twisted Pair cited the cost-effectiveness of its solution compared with hardware-enabled interoperability. Public safety agencies currently can buy patchworking or bridging devices that patch together different radio systems, build advanced radio systems, or use cell phones or satellite phones as backups.

The cloud-computing solution will allow the fire, police, emergency management and other public agencies to connect their private push-to-talk radio systems, extending their access not only to others within their agency, but also to neighboring agencies, when authorized, the companies said.

The Homeland Security Department recently approved the Bridging Systems Interface, a VOIP specification for bridging radio systems. Twisted Pair said its solution uses the bridging systems interface.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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