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FirstNet for emergency communications: 6 questions answered

Editor’s note: In the aftermath of 9/11, public safety officials in New York City and around the country realized that firefighters, police officers and ambulance workers needed to be able to talk to each other at an emergency scene – not just to their supervisors and dispatchers. The solution was nearly 16 years in coming, but on March 30, the First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, was created. It’s one of the largest public-private partnership agreements ever, between the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (part of the U.S. Department of Commerce) and a group of companies led by AT&T. AT&T and its partners will develop and manage a nationwide wireless broadband network for use by first responders. Each U.S. state and territory is in the process of deciding whether it wants to build its own towers and wired connections or let the AT&T group do the construction. Ladimer Nagurney and Anna Nagurney, scholars of communications and network systems, respectively, explain what this multi-billion-dollar effort is, and what it means. read more

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Tracing the sources of today’s Russian cyberthreat

Beyond carrying all of our phone, text and internet communications, cyberspace is an active battleground, with cybercriminals, government agents and even military personnel probing weaknesses in corporate, national and even personal online defenses. Some of the most talented and dangerous cybercrooks and cyberwarriors come from Russia, which is a longtime meddler in other countries’ affairs. read more

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