Museum Brings Veterans’ Stories to Life

November 2015 issue of The Broomfielder, page 42-43

Museum Brings Veterans’ Stories to Life

By Kristen Beckman

A museum, by definition, is a building in which objects of historical or cultural interest are stored and exhibited. The Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum, however, strives to be more than a collection of objects.

“This is not just a museum of stuff,” said Bob Moulder, a four-year museum volunteer who served as a Navy radioman during the Korean War. “It’s a museum of people that we are honoring through items we are lucky enough to have.”

Those items, many of which have a connection to Broomfield residents, are a vehicle to tell stories not just about war but about the military’s role in maintaining peace.

The museum owns more than 5,000 artifacts, including field and dress uniforms, flight suits, helmets and weapons. Other items tell more personal stories, including flags retrieved from captured enemy soldiers, photographs, letters written home and telegraphs with news of missing soldiers.

“One of our big challenges with so many elderly veterans is it seems like every weekend someone comes in with a nice collection hoping we can use it,” said Mike Fellows, a retired Army colonel who has volunteered at the museum for more than eight years. “But we don’t have the space or storage to take everything that people bring to us.”

The museum has a substantial collection of World War II memorabilia, contributed in part by the six Broomfield World War II veterans who founded the museum in 2001, and more recent wars also are well represented. The museum would like to fill in gaps, especially in displays covering the country’s earlier wars.

“The problem with early items is that most of it is now very valuable and in private collections,” said Moulder. “It’s not likely a veteran of the Spanish-American war is going to walk in. What items the museum is able to display depends on who walks in the door.”

When someone would like to donate items, the museum’s part-time curator first views the collection by appointment. Then a committee reviews the items and determines if they are useful for the museum. Once a collection is accepted, the curator catalogs, photographs, inventories and preserves each item according to Standards and Excellence Program (StEP) guidelines for museums, said Lew Moir, president of the museum’s executive committee and a retired Air Force colonel.

The museum has been working toward transitioning from a veterans organization with a collection of memorabilia to an official museum, a designation it earned last year. As part of the transition, volunteers make a concerted effort to learn the story behind each item and include those stories in its displays. Most exhibits include written accounts or videos of veterans talking about their service and the significance of the displayed artifacts.

“If someone comes in with a collection, we try to record the story,” said Fellows. “It’s a way to make a connection between the items and the people they are associated with.”

Most of the exhibits are permanent displays, but two exhibits rotate to give visitors different artifacts and themes to view. The newest display is a tribute to women in service.

In line with its mission of telling stories, the museum is recording veterans’ stories. More than 100 completed recordings are housed in the museum’s extensive library, and the museum continues to collect new recordings. A Veterans Honor Board near the entrance allows family and friends to honor veterans with their name on a plaque and a picture and biography in a book that visitors can view.

The museum is staffed and managed by volunteers and operates on donations and grants. The volunteers hope younger veterans, women and people with experience in education will join their ranks to help broaden the museum’s appeal.

The museum is located at 12 Garden Center and is open every Saturday. Private tours are available by appointment. More information is available at broomfieldveterans.wordpress.com

 

Sidebars

The museum’s annual Veterans Day Celebration will take place at 10 a.m., Nov. 11, at the Broomfield High School auditorium. The two-hour program features patriotic music and tributes, as well as a planned speaker from the Air Force Academy. Representatives from the Boy Scouts and the Daughters of the American Revolution will provide additional activities.

The museum sponsors and participates in a variety of outreach programs and events throughout the year. Twice a month the museum hosts a speaker during its Coffee and Conversation program. The museum also sponsors Broomfield’s Memorial Day Picnic in May and a flag retirement ceremony on Flag Day in June. In addition, the museum loans artifacts for military exhibits throughout the community, including recent displays at the Molly Brown House in Denver and at the Broomfield library. The museum also is providing exhibits for Veterans Speak, a two-week event in November held at the Dairy Center in Boulder that incorporates art, exhibits, poetry and plays.

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Breaking Ma Bell

By Kristen Beckman

Originally published Feb. 12, 2001, in RCR Wireless News

How it came to pass that AT&T let its cellular licenses slip away during its 1984 divestiture is the stuff of wireless industry urban legend. Some say AT&T was less-than-concerned about giving up its cellular business, believing industry forecasts that at the time predicted limited growth for the nascent industry. Others say AT&T let the licenses go as a strategic move designed to shore itself up for impending competition in other areas. Still others contend AT&T wanted to keep cellular in its fold, but believed it would not be allowed to do so.

Whatever its reason, AT&T appeared to put up little fight in the early 1980s to keep its position in the cellular industry-an industry it was instrumental in pioneering. AT&T engineers had largely developed cellular technology, and the company was a catalyst for convincing the Federal Communications Commission to free up spectrum for the new service. It had an experimental license in one market and was on its way to launching one of the first cellular markets in the country.

But there was no mention of cellular in the consent decree that settled the antitrust case between AT&T and the government, according to Michael Altschul, who was responsible for part of the government’s case as part of the trial staff of the Antitrust Division at the Department of Justice. Altschul is now general counsel at the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association.

“The lawsuit was based on prior conduct,” said Altschul. “Wireless wasn’t a part of the government’s case.

“There was absolutely no mention of cellular,” he said.

Altschul recalled the press conference called to announce the settlement agreement. A reporter asked executives at the company what was to become of the cellular business. Altschul said a huddle between AT&T executives and their key deputies produced the answer.

Cellular would go to the Bell companies.

History of the breakup

Unwilling to tamper with a reliable and well-run telephone system, the U.S. government allowed AT&T to operate as a monopoly for more than a century after it was founded by Alexander Graham Bell and two financial investors in 1875. The company dominated the local exchange market via the Bell System and controlled the long-distance market. AT&T also had a strong presence in telecom manufacturing by way of Western Electric.

“It was a vertically integrated monopoly from top to bottom,” said Charles Kennedy, who was one of the attorneys who represented AT&T during divestiture litigation. Kennedy is now a partner in the Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. office of Morrison & Foerster L.L.P.

AT&T had largely withstood a few notable government challenges to its monopoly. A 1949 antitrust suit seeking a separation of Western Electric from the Bell System resulted in a consent decree in 1956 that required AT&T to restrict its activities to “the regulated business of the national telephone system and government work,” according to the company.

Technology advances, however, were making competition in the long-distance market technically feasible, although still not allowed.

MCI calls

By the 1970s, AT&T was experiencing the first real threat to its monopoly. The FCC recently had ruled that customer devices could be attached to telephones in AT&T’s network, but its most formidable threat came from an enterprising company called Microwave Communications Inc. MCI had built a microwave transmission link between Chicago and St. Louis, and the company wanted to use the link to provide private line communications services to trucking companies between the two cities.

MCI eventually won the right to provide unrestricted competition in the long-distance arena. The company also won a key lawsuit against AT&T in 1980, which accused AT&T of illegally trying to drive MCI out of business. MCI was awarded $1.8 billion in the case. The judgement was reduced to $113 million on appeal.

The genesis of competition in the long-distance market, along with grumblings from manufacturers that AT&T compelled its local operating companies to buy equipment from its Western Electric subsidiary, gave rise to a government movement to challenge AT&T’s monopoly. The government filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company in 1974.

The lawsuit spanned eight years, during which the case was assigned to Judge Harold Greene. In January 1982, AT&T and Justice negotiated a settlement that called for AT&T to divest itself of its wholly owned Bell operating companies. Judge Greene approved the deal.

“It was voluntary, but as a practical matter, we were under the gun,” said Kennedy. “We knew the judge was going to rule against us.

“There had been discussion of AT&T keeping the Bell operating companies and giving up Western Electric, but it was clear the judge was going to make AT&T give up the operating companies,” he said.

“One thing I remember is that it was bitter,” said Kennedy. “People at the Bell System thought they had the public trust. They were like the military-they thought they were serving the public. They thought competition would do nothing but harm.

“It was not a friendly fight.”

Breaking up is hard to do

With the negotiation finally settled, all that was left was to physically divide the company.

“It was an incredibly detailed project,” said Steven Titch, who was an associate editor for Electronic News covering communications at the time of divestiture. “People said they were counting paperclips.

“There was a massive amount of paperwork,” said Titch, who is now a freelance writer and the editor of Titchonline.com, a telecom analysis and information Web site.

On Jan. 1, 1984, divestiture officially occurred, and America woke up to a telecom market forever altered.

“It was such a huge change in people’s lives,” said Kevin Sullivan, who supervised the AT&T case for the Justice Department for two years beginning in April 1984. “They had always dealt with the phone company-AT&T. Your phone was provided by AT&T. Your local and long-distance service was provided by AT&T. It was a revolutionary change.”

During his tenure at the Justice Department, Sullivan was responsible for fielding complaints related to the divestiture and was in charge of enforcing the consent decree.

“In two years we managed to process 200 separate waivers,” said Sullivan, who is now a partner in King & Spalding’s Washington D.C., office.

“One thing that was interesting was we were receiving a number of complaints by the alternative cellular providers,” he said. “There was a very real concern in every market that the second entrant would be disadvantaged because the first carrier to launch would get all the best customers.

“There was nothing we could do under the consent decree,” he said.

Because the case ended in a consent decree, the court supervised the breakup of Ma Bell. Anytime the Bell companies wanted to offer a new type of service, they had to seek a waiver from Judge Greene. The advent of new technologies continually blurred the lines between what was allowed and what wasn’t.

“It was peculiar, having one judge running the industry,” said Kennedy. “It was an enormous burden.”

Separate paths

On the day of divestiture, AT&T said goodbye to the famous Bell logo and name. The company retained only $34 billion of the $149.5 billion in assets it had the day before. It also shed 636,000 employees, some of whom were cellular employees sent to the Bell System.

“They were very casual about the cellular business,” said Kennedy. “No one thought there was any future in this cellular stuff.”

“I was just shocked,” said Joey Wolff, who was director of marketing for AMPS, AT&T’s cellular division. Wolff is now a partner in Solomon Wolff Associates, an independent marketing research company specializing in high-tech and communications issues.

“We were working so hard on getting the spectrum freed up and the technology ready, we weren’t all that aware of the divestiture proceedings,” she said. “It took over our lives, and it had so much potential.”

The new company, minus its local exchange assets and out of the cellular business, turned its focus toward defending its market share in the long-distance market and dabbling in other promising markets, notably computers.

“AT&T came away very well-positioned,” said Titch. “They had long-distance, manufacturing and the ability to enter computers.

“It was a very sharp agreement on AT&T’s part,” he said “It was a divide-and-conquer strategy.”

Having rid itself of the restrictions of the 1956 consent decree, AT&T was free to pursue the computer market. The company purchased computer maker NCR for $7.3 billion in 1991, but the company was never successful in the computer industry.

In 1994, AT&T regained its place in the cellular industry, purchasing nonwireline carrier McCaw Cellular Communications Inc. for $11.5 billion, a deal that gave AT&T direct access once again to consumers.

The next year, AT&T announced a major restructuring that split the company three ways-AT&T, the carrier; Lucent Technologies Inc., the equipment company; and NCR, the computer company. According to AT&T, it was the largest voluntary breakup in the history of American business.

Meanwhile, the seven regional Bell companies had prospered apart from AT&T, armed with the famous Bell logo, a profitable and stable local exchange business and the right to newly licensed cellular spectrum, which held more promise than anybody realized at the time. While its former parent learned how to compete in the long-distance arena, the Bell companies faced fierce competition on the wireless front.

The Telecom Act of 1996 further changed the market for AT&T and the Bell companies, allowing them to peek over the wall that had separated them for 12 years. AT&T was already competing with the Baby Bells in the wireless arena and the prospect of further competition in the long-distance and local markets loomed.

Consolidation swept through the ranks of the Bell companies during the second half of the 1990s, driven in part by a growing trend toward national coverage and service offerings.

The wave of consolidation hinted at a resurrection of half of Ma Bell. The original seven regional Bell operating companies were reduced to five when Bell Atlantic Corp. acquired Nynex Corp. and SBC Communications Inc. acquired Pacific Telesis. Later, SBC acquired Ameritech Corp. and Bell Atlantic acquired GTE Corp. All the while, independent wireless carriers were being acquired and alliances between wireless carriers were being formed as the industry shifted its focus from a local business to a national business.

What might have been

CTIA’s Altschul said the wireless industry might have developed differently had divestiture not occurred.

“AT&T had designed the system as a national business to be controlled centrally in Chicago,” he said. “Had that been the model, the industry would have started out as a national service rather than a regional, market-by-market offering.”

Perhaps the biggest impact of divestiture on the wireless industry was the competition it fostered.

“The divestiture created the telecom industry, in a way,” said Kennedy. “If the phone companies had a monopoly or a virtual monopoly over wireless technology, they would not have encouraged it. They would have seen it as competing with itself.

“It’s fair to say, even though I defended the monopoly vigorously, that hardly any of the innovations that we see at telephone companies today would have happened with the monopoly,” he said. “It’s hard to imagine what the world would have looked like without divestiture.”

Wheeler Urges Congressional Action on NG 9-1-1, Public Safety to Embrace New Technology

Thursday, August 20, 2015

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urged the public-safety community to embrace technology advances and urged Congress to pass legislation that will accelerate the pace of next-generation 9-1-1 (NG 9-1-1) deployments. Wheeler made his remarks to a packed ballroom Aug. 19 at the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International conference in Washington, D.C.

Wheeler detailed several FCC initiatives during the past year that have focused on improving public-safety communications, including passing rules to enhance 9-1-1 continuity earlier this month. Wheeler also highlighted the FCC’s role in bringing text-to-9-1-1 service to the market, and its rules establishing expectations for indoor location accuracy, which he called a floor and not a ceiling.

“To say this is a time of great technological change is to engage in understatement,” said Wheeler. “These technology changes are creating new opportunities to enhance public safety. At the same time, the march of technological progress raises new challenges.”

The move to digital networks is changing the provision of 9-1-1 services, but network outages caused by ‘growing pains’ associated with new technologies is unacceptable. More than $40 million in fines for outages that disrupted 9-1-1 services have been issued in the past four months, he said.

“I cannot imagine a more harrowing experience than desperately needing to call 9-1-1 because a loved one needs medical attention, only to pick up the phone and hear … nothing,” said Wheeler. “We won’t stand for it.”

Wheeler focused many of his remarks on NG 9-1-1 and what he believes should happen next.

“Done right, the move to NG 9-1-1 should dramatically improve emergency response,” said Wheeler. “Some state and local 9-1-1 decision-makers have made important strides to migrate their public-safety answering points (PSAPs) to NG 9-1-1. This is gratifying to see, but I think everyone would agree we are not where we need to be.”

Wheeler said efforts to transition to NG 9-1-1 to date have been too slow and ragged and that there are understandable reasons for the sluggish move to NG 9-1-1, including the need to maintain legacy capabilities during the transition, which is both costly and complex.

“But this isn’t a unique experience; throughout our communications infrastructure, this is being done — and done successfully,” he said. “Just because the slow implementation of NG 9-1-1 is understandable doesn’t make it excusable. Today’s fractured implementation of 9-1-1 and NG 9-1-1 capabilities leaves Americans confused and at greater risk.”

Wheeler said the FCC has formed an expert advisory panel to help tackle the issue. The Task Force on Optimal Public Safety Answering Point Architecture is working to determine how PSAPs can better integrate NG 9-1-1 functionality into their operations. Focuses of the group include NG 9-1-1 architectures, allocation of resources and cybersecurity. A final report and recommendations are expected before the end of the year, Wheeler said.

Wheeler urged Congress to get involved by enacting legislation that will help NG 9-1-1 move forward.

“While Congress has enacted important 9-1-1 legislation over the last 20 years, the legislative framework largely adopted in 1999 has been outstripped by changes in technology, the marketplace and consumer behavior in the 21st century. To effectively implement NG 9-1-1, we need to amend our laws in a way that reflects the changing realities on the ground.”

Specifically, Wheeler urged Congress to authorize establishment of a national maps database to ensure every PSAP has access to current maps that may help overcome issues of 9-1-1 calls being misrouted near PSAP boundaries. Wheeler also addressed the issue of funding and the problem of 9-1-1 fees being raided for non-9-1-1 purposes by local and state governments.

“Congress could direct the FCC to assist states in developing effective audit tools to ensure appropriate collection and expenditure of 9-1-1 funds and prevent diversion of funds to other purposes. Bottom line: Localities need to have access to appropriate resources to ensure that 9-1-1 services meet the needs of their communities, and funding collected for 9-1-1 should only be used for 9-1-1,” said Wheeler to loud applause from the crowd.

Wheeler called for additional federal grants to help pay for capital expenses associated with implementing NG 9-1-1 above and beyond the $115 million Congress authorized as part of the Next Generation 911 Advancement Act of 2012. That funding likely won’t be available until the end of 2016.

“That’s a good start, but more can be done,” said Wheeler. “Congress could authorize matching funds to help PSAPs migrate to efficient NG 9-1-1 ESInets and shared platforms. It could condition existing and future grants on the use of best practice architectures identified by our task force’s recommendations for optimal NG 9-1-1 implementation.”

Finally, Wheeler asked Congress to provide incentives for the development and use of shared security operations centers supporting multiple PSAPs. His comments were echoed in other in cybersecurity discussions during sessions at the show, where several speakers said individual PSAPs will have difficulty facing cyber risks alone and will need to band together, share resources and form public-private partnerships in order to successfully fend off growing cybersecurity threats.

“The simple truth is that PSAPs — particularly smaller PSAPs — are not well resourced to address this fight and in many cases cannot afford to face it alone,” said Wheeler. “We need to think creatively about coordinating our cyber defenses to leverage expertise as broadly as possible so that all our PSAPs have access to tools to protect themselves.”

Wheeler closed his comments by quoting Silicon Valley executive Aaron Levie, who joked that a common attitude toward change among CEOs and government officials is “I’m pro innovation as long as everything stays EXACTLY the same.”

Wheeler said the public-safety community can’t afford to take that attitude.

“Technology is changing our world, and those of us charged with promoting and protecting public safety need to change with it. The disruption will be difficult and the temptation to stick with the status quo will be great. But embracing next-generation technologies will be worth it.”

Wheeler joked that public-safety professionals must be a bold group to travel to hot and humid Washington in August.

“It was only a few years ago that foreign governments quit paying tropical duty bonuses for being stationed in Washington for the summer,” Wheeler quipped to a laughing audience.

Broomfield Council on the Arts and Humanities

October 2015 issue of The Broomfielder, Pages 20-21

 

BCAH Nurtures Broomfield’s Budding Artists

By Kristen Beckman

In an age of diminishing budgets for the arts throughout the country, Broomfield has taken the road less traveled. The city and its citizens have demonstrated they value the arts by supporting a variety of groups and programs that promote art in Broomfield.

One local group that focuses specifically on helping artists and art-related groups is the Broomfield Council on the Arts and Humanities (BCAH). The council provides resources and assistance to help artists gain exposure within the community as well as community events that give citizens an opportunity to enjoy a variety of art.

“Our main purpose is to nurture the arts and art groups in Broomfield and the surrounding areas,” said Chippy Cianci, co-president of the BCAH board of directors.

Serving as an ‘incubator’ for groups focused on art or art-related programs, BCAH provides everything from funding and assistance for artists to help with organizing community events. BCAH allows artists to use the group’s insurance, place ads in its newsletters and on its website and social media outlets, and provides discounts on stages and venues for performances.

“The main thing we want to do is try to nurture new artists in all media and allow them to perform and get recognized,” said Cianci. “It allows them to perform for free or at a drastically reduced rate. If they had to do this on their own, they would have to charge so much that it would be a real obstacle to success.”

BCAH is committed to providing at least half of its programming free and open to the public with events geared toward families and individuals of all ages, genders and ethnicities.

The council is an independent, nonprofit group created by the city of Broomfield in 1973. It began as part of the city’s effort to encourage and support the arts in Broomfield, and its mission has remained the same for more than 40 years.

Although it has always been an independent organization, BCAH originally was funded by the city. When the city and county began receiving Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) allocations, BCAH was removed from the city budget and instead received SCFD funds. BCAH also receives donations from individuals as well as grants from Colorado Creates, the Broomfield Community Foundation, Wells Fargo and other funding programs.

BCAH operated as a completely volunteer organization until about 15 years ago when it added a full-time office manager and a part-time grant writer, said Cianci. The council board of directors currently consists of eight volunteers, but additional volunteers are always needed to help with office work, event tasks, marketing and social media efforts.

BCAH is involved with several well-known community events and organizations in Broomfield, including Broomstock, which features live music, art and food to mark the last day of school and the beginning of summer.

BCAH also organizes an annual student art show, which debuted in 1995, at the Broomfield Recreation Center. This year the show featured 456 submissions from students attending 11 schools and an all-school mural submitted by Kohl Elementary School. The opening night of the show included musical entertainment provided by winners of this year’s Piano Festival, another program supported by BCAH. More than 780 people attended the show.

The Broomfield Youth Symphony is another local organization supported by BCAH. The group provides an after-school music program for students at schools with limited music courses, or homeschooled students who otherwise wouldn’t have access to school-based music programs. The group now encompasses nearly 100 students and has achieved its own nonprofit status.

In all, BCAH has more than two dozen member organizations and community programs, including the ASTER Women’s Chamber Choir, Broomfield Art Guild, Broomfield Civic Chorus, Broomfield Music Teachers’ Association, Broomfield Spellbinders, Broomfield Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Repertory Singers, Dance Arts Studio, Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, Rocky Mountain Brassworks, and Summer Sundays at the Brunner Farmhouse.

“Many well-known organizations in Broomfield started with BCAH and are still supporting members,” said Cianci. “We are reaching out into the community to reach artists who aren’t aware of us and what we do.

“Our main goal is to increase our general membership and recruit new artists or organizations,” said Cianci. “We are open to new ideas.”

More information is available at http://www.artsinbroomfield.org

Location Accuracy RFPs Expected Soon

MissionCritical Communications, Radio Resource International, and Public Safety Report – wireless voice and data communications for mobile, remote and public safety operations

Source: Location Accuracy RFPs Expected Soon

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 | Comments

CTIA expects to issue two requests for proposals (RFPs) in the coming months to meet the FCC’s indoor location accuracy requirements established earlier this year

Matthew Gerst, director of state regulatory and external affairs at CTIA, said the association plans to issue an RFP in the next couple weeks to find an entity to establish and operate a location accuracy test bed. The FCC rules require commercial carriers to establish an indoor location accuracy test bed within 12 months of the effective date of the rules, which was August 3.

“CMRS providers must validate technologies intended for indoor location, including dispatchable location technologies and technologies that deliver horizontal and/or vertical coordinates, through an independently administrated and transparent test bed process, in order for such technologies to be presumed to comply with the location accuracy requirements,” said the rules.

The test bed is required to include representative indoor environments in dense urban, urban, suburban and rural morphologies and must test for ground truth location accuracy, latency and reliability. The test bed initially will focus on testing existing location technologies before evaluating new technologies.

Gerst said CTIA expects the test bed to be established during the third quarter.

CTIA also plans to issue an RFP for a vendor or vendors to design and develop the National Emergency Address Database (NEAD), expected to provide dispatchable addresses to public-safety answering points (PSAPs) under the FCC’s rules. That RFP is expected to be released by the end of the year, said Gerst.

Carriers are also preparing to comply with rules that require them to report aggregate live 9-1-1 call location data, said Gerst. The first report is due 18 months from the effective date of the rules. Live test data must be supplied from San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Denver and the Front Range, Philadelphia and the Manhattan borough of New York City, according to the rules.

Gerst, speaking during a panel at the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International show earlier this month, also provided an update on work the association is doing to help commercial carriers meet the FCC’s rules. The association has established seven working groups to focus on administrative, substantive, and education and outreach goals. Gerst said the working groups have garnered participation from a wide range of stakeholders, including vendors and the public-safety community.

“This is an aggressive timeline and an ambitious agenda,” said Gerst. “We’ve all agreed it’s the right path, but we’ve got work to do.”

CTIA’s administrative working group is focused on how to operationalize some of the major components of the FCC rules, including a team focused on how to set up the new test bed using the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability (CSRIC) model, said Gerst. The administrative group also is looking at how to build the NEAD, developing a privacy plan and coordinating with the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) Emergency Location Task Force (ELOC), established in January to focus on location accuracy standards development.

CTIA’s substantive working group includes a z-axis team working on developing a plan to deliver uncompensated barometric pressure data to PSAPs and evaluating other technologies that provide z-axis location data. Another team is coordinating standards-related activities, including standards associated with the use of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth low energy (LE) for 9-1-1 calls, and standards for delivery of uncompensated barometric pressure data. The PSAP implementation team will assist PSAPs with deploying and implementing location accuracy data and technologies.

CTIA’s education and outreach working groups are tasked with educating stakeholders about technologies and progress related to indoor location accuracy initiatives. The outreach team is developing materials for stakeholder education, including promoting dispatchable location solutions and encouraging third parties to enter their beacons and hot spots into the NEAD.

CTIA 9-1-1 Location Accuracy Advisory Group held its first meeting and plans to meet quarterly, said Gerst.

Location Demo
During the APCO conference and exhibition, Intrado staged a live demonstration of indoor location accuracy capabilities. The company installed 65 Bluetooth LE beacons around the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, including the show floor, session rooms, the ballroom and all main areas, said John Snapp, vice president and senior technical officer at Intrado.

Conference attendees downloaded the company’s E911Beacon iPhone application to test the location accuracy provided by the beacons. Users could push a button within the application to dial a simulated PSAP, which would read back the location of the calling device down to the room number.

“Bluetooth LE is exciting because it is being built into so many devices,” said Snapp. “A lot of people are doing a lot of development for commercial location, but they are not excited about 9-1-1. If we leverage what they are doing for commercial location, 9-1-1 becomes a user instead of an orphan. By making 9-1-1 a user, it is not necessarily the one that has to pay the bill for all of this.”

Snapp cautioned that while using commercial location data is a positive step forward, analytics and standard procedures will also be needed to interpret the data and use it most effectively.