The Public Safety Network
TJ Kennedy is one of the co-founders and principals of the Public Safety Network. TJ has had a 25-year career in wireless technology and public safety. Prior to the Public Safety Network, TJ was the President of the First Responder Network Authority, known as FirstNet, an independent US government authority charged with creating the first ever financially self-sustaining broadband nationwide network for public safety. TJ led FirstNet from a start-up inside the United States government to become a $40 billion public-private partnership (PPP) that is governing a mission- critical 4G LTE network in all 50 US states, 5 territories and the District of Columbia. This PPP is the largest ever in the United States and is now providing prioritised and pre-emptive public safety communications to law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services personnel. Prior to joining FirstNet, TJ was the President of Raytheon JPS Communications and led the Public Safety business at Raytheon Company. Countries around the world are learning from the FirstNet model and are looking to emulate its success. Technology companies seek TJ’s advice on how they can create the Internet of Life Saving Things (IoLST) and how to encourage public safety to embrace technology to enable the ways they respond, interact and serve the public in its greatest time of need. As a reliable and dedicated leader, TJ has defined and achieved organisational excellence and created complex business strategies that have achieved incredible results while working in a political environment with diverse stakeholders. TJ received his B.S. from the University of Utah and his M.B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.
Wednesday 1 May: 9.15am-9.45am
Why we need public safety broadband now
In the last few years, technological opportunities and capabilities for public safety have grown exponentially and this dynamic shift to leverage better communications and the Internet of Life Saving Things (IoLST) in order to improve first responder safety and operations continues its positive trajectory. But we are not leveraging them fast enough. It is 2019 and we should have prioritised and pre-emptive secure communications for all first responders right now.
Because the number and size of emergency incidents and catastrophic disasters continues to rise —many of which require seamless multi-agency response and communications — we must embrace the capabilities available now for public safety broadband. At risk are lives, property and, sometimes, even entire communities. We all need to recognise this urgency and fuel it with our commitment to accelerate the development of innovative technologies, test them in public safety agencies to obtain real-world end-user feedback, refine the technologies and then get them to market as soon as possible. Join TJ Kennedy as he shares his own personal experiences to help us all understand why we need reliable global public safety LTE networks and their accompanying solutions now, not in 3 or 5 or 10 more years.
Wednesday 1 May: 1.30pm-3.00pm
Workshop 1: The critical role of communications to ensure preparedness before, during and after disasters — what haven’t you thought of?
In 2018 alone in the US, we had 8 major hurricanes, more than 50,000 wildland fires and more than 300 mass shootings, resulting in hundreds killed and thousands injured. Now more than ever before, it is critical that public safety and the communities they serve have reliable connectivity when disasters hit. However, preparing for and responding to these disasters takes significant planning and foresight to ensure critical communications systems are able to be leveraged during such events. With the ongoing proliferation of LTE technologies for use in critical communications, first responders must coordinate their mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery responsibilities, including ongoing network connectivity and community notifications (such as evacuation alerts, shelter and aid information, etc). This preparation must take into account existing towers, network hardening, back-up power and availability of deployables to ensure connectivity will be maintained and help with network restoration. As our modern world relies more heavily on personal and professional LTE communications and the Internet of Things (IoT) for health, safety, shelter, food and water, location, and emergency response during a disaster, we need to focus on the details we don’t always initially think about to make those communication lifelines possible.