Wireless Bill Introduced

Of possible interest to our readership: A bill introduced in the state’s House that would direct the office of homeland security and emergency preparedness to develop a wireless emergency system to cover the entire state.

This is not the wireless bill both Mike and I have commented on earlier but still might be interesting to proponents of muni involvement since it appears to mandate an emergency wireless cloud statewide. Developing that capacity on a statewide level would be truly amazing. I’d be surprised if anything this sweeping passes but since it puts the responsibility for devising the system off on the executive, maybe it will.

…amend and reenact R.S. 29:726(F), relative to the office of homeland security andemergency preparedness; to include within the authority and responsibilities of the office to develop a wireless communications system; to include within the system coordination between local and state responders; to include within the system component that includes direct communication during an emergency between authorities, media, and citizens; and to provide for related matters.

That part about direct communication with citizens would mandate a state cloud if it were interpreted to mean every citizen. But even hooking up “direct” communication between all the local authorities and the state would be a very large undertaking.

Not to beat a dead horse but the long-distance links between regional nodes really ought to be in buried fiber. Anything burried will stay up during a hurricane (and most disasters) better than wireless links. High wind causes alignment failures in point to point wireless communications and rain interferes with significant parts of the spectrum. Wireless is very unreliable during a storm. Wireless comes back quicker–it is easier to repair–than wires (copper or fiber) strung on poles but the ideal emergency system would include as much buried wireline as is practical.