Dept. Homeland Security, Public TV Stations Push For Datacasting

Partnership seeks to make datacasting method available to the public safety community
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WASHINGTON–The Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate and the nonprofit America’s Public Television Stations have forged a partnership to make datacasting technology available to the first responder community and public broadcasters nationwide.

As reported in this Government Video feature story, datacasting leverages a public broadcaster’s signal to allow first responders to transmit secure data consisting of text, images, video and audio to other personnel in the field. This method is seen as a more reliable option than other wireless services due to it not being accessible by the general public so it cannot become congested.

Several successful field tests on the technology have been conducted in the past two years within the cities of Houston, Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas and Washington DC.

The APTS sees "the deployment of public safety datacasting as an effective component in the protection of the American people,” according to Patrick Butler, APTS’ president and CEO. “Public safety is an essential mission of America's public television stations, together with education and civic leadership, and this landmark agreement with the Department of Homeland Security is an important step forward in the pursuit of this mission,” Butler says.

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