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Iowa Tests Communications Network for School Emergencies

By Amanda Murphy

Iowa Governor Terry Brandstad and Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Roxann Ryan have announced a program that will test a Wi-Fi network dedicated for public safety agencies and emergency responders when responding to incidents at schools. 

The pilot project, titled WISE (Wi-Fi Internet for School Emergencies) School, simulates FirstNet’s national program to create a private LTE wireless network dedicated to public safety and law enforcement use. The WISE School project will give first responders access to IT assets, allowing for upload and download of information directly from the school while in their vehicles or patrol cars. First responders will also have the ability to connect to an access point and be able to view surveillance cameras before arriving on scene.

Implementation and testing of the WISE School project should be completed by the end of summer at three school districts: Marshalltown Community School District, Norwalk Community School District, and Martensdale Community School District. If ongoing testing is successful throughout the next year, the project will expand to additional schools throughout the state. According to a news release from Gov. Brandstad’s office, existing broadband infrastructure at all Iowa school districts will allow for the WISE system.

Read the news release.

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