Thursday, 24 November 2016 22:01

Productivity Commission recommends emergency services use commercial networks

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The federal government has accepted the Productivity Commission’s recommendations on public safety mobile broadband (PSMB) requiring emergency services to use commercial mobile networks.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield and Justice Minister Michael Keenan said on Thursday they “support in principle the Commission’s findings and recommendations”, and will set up a committee of Commonwealth, State and Territory officials to scope proposals and report to the Council of Australian Governments in 2017.

Yesterday’s report by the commission followed the government’s request that it undertake a ‘first-principles’ analysis of the best way to deliver a mobile broadband capability for the state and federal public safety agencies by 2020.

The Commission’s study found that commercial mobile networks are the most efficient, effective and economical way of delivering a public safety mobile broadband capability.

The government says it recognises that mobile broadband offers significant potential to improve the efficiency of the emergency services and the safety of its officers.

The two ministers said the government is committed to working with all states and territories towards achieving an interoperable PSMB capability.

To read the Productivity Commission’s report click here.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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