SpectraRep LLC, a provider of datacasting services and Sinclair/ONE Media have announced a successful NextGen Broadcast pilot of the IncidentOne datacasting solution for D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management and six other federal and local public safety agencies.
This application delivered sophisticated emergency communications through improved video, alert, and file sharing among multiple public safety agencies during the 2022 July 4 celebrations in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall using the advanced spectrum platform capabilities enabled by the NextGen Broadcast standard.
“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,” says 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.”
Based on the NextGen Broadcast standard, IncidentOne layered a new secure wireless network on top of existing communication procedures to facilitate inter-agency sharing of data at new 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.
O’Brien also noted that the NextGen Broadcast ATSC 3.0 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.
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 ATSC 3.0-based pilot program is DC Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC), Charles Guddemi, noted the broadcast went well.
“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,” comments Guddemi.