A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

NJ to Bolster Broadband Network for its First Responders

New Jersey has received a federal grant of nearly $40 million from the Commerce Department's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program for our state's Wireless Broadband Network Project. The Governor's office issued a press release that said, in part:

Governor Chris Christie today welcomed the announcement that New Jersey has been awarded a $39.6 million federal grant to put in place a state-of-the-art public safety wireless broadband network in support of first responders, law enforcement and emergency management professionals.

"This grant accelerates the State's overall plan of providing first responders with the information technology tools they need to effectively communicate vital data during an emergency situation," said Governor Christie.  "Once operational, the network will provide real-time access to critical data, ultimately improving the ability of our public safety community to save lives, reduce injuries, and protect New Jersey families."

According to the Commerce Department, its National Telecommunications and Information Administration has $4.7 billion of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) monies with which to promote the development and expansion of broadband services in rural and underserved areas and the improvement of broadband access by public safety agencies.

New York State was seeking $265 million for a similar purpose, but their vast project aimed to support 21 counties, while NJ will add broadband infrastructure in only 7 counties. The Governor's press release doesn't mention the seven counties involved. If someone knows whether Monmouth and Middlesex counties are included, kindly add a comment to that effect. Also, if someone knows whether Aberdeen Council's recent plans to purchase communications equipment anticipated this grant, I'd be interested in hearing from you.


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