Articles about Emergency Services

London BMW 5-Series police car

NHS and POLICE non-emergency services GO DARK after Voda switch failure - source

The collapse of Britain's non-emergency telephone numbers for the police (101) and the NHS (111) last week was due to a switch failure at Vodafone, The Register understands. The outage affected a number of Vodafone's customers on 22 November, including First Great Western, Barclays and RAC. A source told El Reg the outage …
Kat Hall, 28 Nov 2014

What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?

Vodafone has been chided for misleading customers with a telly ad that wrongly implied that the majority of Blighty's emergency services' staff personally subscribed to the mobile operator. Britain's ad watchdog agreed with three out of four complaints submitted by the parent company of rival O2 - Telefonica UK. The TV …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Aug 2014
Police outside 10 Downing Street. Credit: zongo

Home Office: It's an EMERGENCY! We need proper comms

The Home Office is seeking suppliers for its Emergency Services Network contract, part of moves to replace the incumbent gaffe-prone £2.9bn Airwave contract due to expire in 2016. Contracts will be awarded in 2015 for radio, television, communication, telecommunication and related equipment, with the new ESN will going live from …
Kat Hall, 21 Nov 2014

US 911 service needs emergency upgrade and some basic security against scumbags

Defcon 22 The US emergency response system is in urgent need of better security as it’s surprisingly easy to disable or spoof 911 calls. In a talk at Defcon 22 two doctors (who are also hackers) and a security consultant presented research into the emergency response system and how calls via fixed line, mobile phones and VoIP are routed. …
Iain Thomson, 11 Aug 2014
Screenshot of Google Crisis Map

Licenses blocking third-party emergency warnings

Last weekend, a fire-storm in the Perth Hills destroyed 55 homes, and today, Victoria is facing fire conditions close to those experienced on “Black Saturday” in 2009 (having already suffered power cuts in the heatwave). In such conditions, emergency services do their best to distribute warning information via their Websites and …

Japan to trial emergency 'calls' by Twitter in disaster zones

Japanese authorities will soon trial a new warning system that would allow imperiled members of the public to contact the emergency services by sending messages on social networking sites like Twitter. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said it will test the system this (northern) summer, Kyodo reported. The disaster …
Phil Muncaster, 13 Mar 2013

EU signs off on eCall emergency-phone-in-every-car plan

The European Union's plan to insist every new car on the road by 2015 includes a mobile device that phones home after a crash is set to become reality, after the European Commission signed off draft legislation to enact the scheme. Assent from the European Parliament and Council of the European Union is now required, but little …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jun 2013
crash test dummies

Hello? Police? Yes, I'm a car and my idiot driver's crashed me

New cars sold in the EU will soon be able to call the emergency services without human intervention. A new law approved by MEPs on Tuesday will make the so-called eCall system obligatory for all new car models sold in the EU from April 2018. eCall uses the Europe-wide 112 emergency number to call the emergency services …
Jennifer Baker, 19 Mar 2015

Wake up, sheeple! If you ask Siri about 9/11 it will rat you out to the police!

The Illuminati have revealed themselves once again, this time through their "intelligent personal assistant" Siri, which immediately reports device owners to the police when they ask about 9/11. CBCnews reports that 114 budding truthers were redirected to the police over a two hour period on Sunday morning. Police believe the …
A bus on fire in Whaddon

Nice 4G-for-plods demo, Samsung. Good luck actually selling it

Samsung has staked its claim towards being an integral part of the emergency services with a demonstration of its public safety solution - the first based on the 3GPP Rel.12 standard - using LTE technology. A post on the official Samsung blog explains how 80 devices were connected to a network to demonstrate PS-LTE, or Public …
Simon Rockman, 02 Jun 2015
Dispatchers are vital to co-ordinating on the ground activities

Brit plods' post-TETRA radio omnishambles comes home to roost

The £1.2bn emergency services contract which The Register flagged up as an omnishambles six months ago has now, as we predicted, collapsed. After a year-long bidding process the government had whittled the tenders down to two companies: EE and O2. Now O2 has pulled out as a result of Telefonica selling the network to Three’s …
Simon Rockman, 09 Jun 2015
The Register breaking news

Motorola upgrades Vic emergency network

The Victorian government has awarded Motorola Solutions with an $AU130 million contract to upgrade and extend the management of Victoria’s Metropolitan Mobile Radio (MMR) network. The network is part of the Victorian Government’s Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA). The contract represents a four year …
Amazon under a cloud

Trading Standards pokes Amazon over 'libellous' review

Trading Standards has this week intervened on behalf of a small business owner to ask Amazon to reconsider its refusal to remove a factually inaccurate review. Steve Smith, director of nuisance call screening company trueCall Care, complained to Amazon regarding a serious claim his device blocks all incoming calls from the …
Kat Hall, 21 Apr 2015
Svolvaer, Vågan Municipality, Austvågøy Island, Lofoten, Nordland County, Norway - photo by Vincent van Zeijst

Digital killed the radio star: Norway names FM switchoff date

Norway is claiming a world first: having successfully implemented digital radio, the country has announced the dates for a progressive FM radio shutdown. The end will come during 2017, says the country's Ministry of Culture, which has announced that the conditions it set down in 2011 have been met. Instead of the five national …
crash test dummies

Your new car will dob you in to the cops if you crash, decrees EU

New cars sold in the EU from March 2018 will have to phone the authorities if they think they've been in a crash. A watered-down version of the eCall proposal has found favour with the EU Commission, meaning when a car or light van crashes, it will automatically summon the emergency services. It will use the emergency number of …
Simon Rockman, 29 Apr 2015
The Register breaking news

QLD flood report calls for emergency services broadband network

The Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry’s Final Report calls for the creation of a dedicated wireless broadband network for the emergency services. The report finds that says black spots for the analogue radios used by Queensland emergency services at the time of the floods were “inevitable”, before going on to endorse …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Mar 2012

Chlorine gas horror leak at Apple data center puts five in hospital

A chlorine gas leak at an Apple data center has landed five people in hospital. Emergency crews received a call about 2pm local time from the Apple facility on Startown Road, in Maiden, North Carolina. Local news helicopters captured footage of people being given medical attention and oxygen masks outside the facility. The …
Kieren McCarthy, 01 Jun 2015
Zombie rising from the grave

Verizon outage borks phones, TVs, internet for hapless East Coast folk

Update All of US carrier Verizon's services have been struck down by an outage across Delaware, New Jersey, and New York since 5:27am EDT. Down Detector has recorded a spike in complaints since this morning, and its own commentards have tracked the outage by offering their experiences and referencing them with their area codes. …
Police pursue JCB

EU law bods: New eCall crash system WON'T TRACK YOU. Really

No, your car won’t be spying on you, say MEPs, but it will call you an ambulance should you need it. The European Parliament has reached a deal with national ministers to introduce a mandatory “eCall” system for all new cars from April 2018. However, although the system would automatically call the 112 emergency number in the …
Jennifer Baker, 09 Dec 2014
http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-206007979/stock-photo-female-student-using-mobile-phone-in-classroom.html?src=QwV6NI1PxgBasokGhlmPQA-1-27

Science teacher jammed his school kids' phones, gets week suspension

A high school teacher in Tampa Bay, Florida, has been suspended without pay for using a jamming device to keep students off their cellphones. Science teacher Dean Liptak will spend five days on the naughty step at Fivay High School for employing a device that prevented nearby phones from making or receiving calls, sending and …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Jun 2015
911

FCC taps CenturyLink on shoulder, mumbles about a fine for THAT six-hour 911 outage

US comms regulator the FCC has fined CenturyLink $16m (£10.8m) for a network outage that left 11 million Americans unable to make 911 calls. CenturyLink made a $772m (£520m) profit in 2014. Last month, the watchdog charged Verizon $3.4m for its part in the downtime – and this week has smacked down the ISP and telco CenturyLink. …
Iain Thomson, 08 Apr 2015

Who fancies a billion-quid bonanza? Just flog the Home Office some shiny walkie-talkies

The UK Home Office is touting a mega contract worth up to £1.2bn to build a next-generation comms network for Blighty's brave emergency services. Led by the Crime and Policing Group, under the auspices of the Emergency Services Mobile Communications programme, the new system must provide voice calls and wireless broadband …
Paul Kunert, 23 Apr 2014
Cell tower, view from below. Image by Shutterstock.com

France will flog off 700MHz to boost mobe broadband while UK dithers. Thanks, Ofcom

Updated British mobile phone coverage will lag further behind the rest of Europe this year: now the French are auctioning off valuable spectrum space, at 700MHz, to high-speed mobile networks. Ofcom, in its recent strategy review, said it’s targeting 2022 for a similar allocation (although possibly sooner). However, its French …
Simon Rockman, 02 Apr 2015
The Project Loon team prepares solar panels, electronics and balloon envelopes for launch as the sun rises in New Zealand.

That's no plane wreck, that's a Google Wi-Fi balloon

Emergency Services in New Zealand town today scrambled to assist what they thought was a downed plane, but actually turned out to be one of Google's Project Loon WiFi-beaming balloons. Project Loon is Google's attempt to become an ISP of sorts by floating balloons over parts of the world where internet access is not often …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2014

'My house is on fire m8 lol' ... 911 texting tested in the US

Injured, on fire, or under fire citizens can now text the emergency services in a new pilot program in the US. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said that it had selected a number of (primarily rural) areas to trial the service, in which citizens can send texts to 911 in order to notify police and fire departments of …
Shaun Nichols, 15 May 2014
The Register breaking news

What did you do on Emergency Services day?

Having agreed on a cross-Europe emergency services number, 112, the EU was shocked to discover that hardly anyone in Europe knew it, and so declared yesterday, February 11, to be "European 112 Day". Reg readers, being a distinctly Europhile crowd, were out in force celebrating the day in suitable fashion by summoning the …
Bill Ray, 12 Feb 2009

IT gets $AU200 million new spend in Qld budget

The IT sector will be busily trawling through the Australian state of Queensland's budget papers, with the government yesterday announcing tech spends in health, emergency services communications, and online service delivery. Queensland Health, whose troubled history in IT has previously left it out-of-pocket by a cool billion …

Peep peep! All aboard the £300m UK education IT procurement express

The clock is ticking for tech suppliers wanting to grab a seat on the soon-to-be refreshed UK "ICT Services for Education" framework gravy train, estimated to be worth up to £300m over four years. A contract notice was placed by Crown Commercial Services on the Official Journal of the European Union at the weekend, indicating …
Paul Kunert, 28 Oct 2014
flag.Scotland

Psst. Hey, Jock. I got £100m for outsourcers here. Fancy a hit?

A £100m pot of cash for managed service providers will form part of the Scottish government's next public sector-wide tech agreement. A prior information notice on the Official Journal of the EU was distributed to suppliers for the replacement to the Scottish Procurement Framework, which is currently winding down. "Scottish …
Paul Kunert, 24 Jul 2014
Airwave has given the police reliable comms

Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'

In less than 18 months' time the police radio network will be switched off. There is no obvious replacement and the looming omnishambles is turning into a bonanza for Arqiva, the only company brave enough to offer a solution. Peter Neyroud CBE, former head of the National Policing Improvement Agency and now at the University of …
Riot police in London. Pic: Steve Jackson

Met Police puts iPads, Windows and Android mobes on trial

The long-awaited arrival of mobile devices in the Metropolitan Police is still another two years away, interim chief technology officer of the Met Stephen Deakin has told El Reg. The Met is currently trialling 850 iPads. However, Deakin said the force is also assessing commodity devices running Windows, Android and iOS. "We are …
Kat Hall, 20 Apr 2015

Naked Aussie gets wedged in washing machine

An Aussie bloke who climbed naked into a top-loader washing machine in an attempt to surprise his other half provided a top afternoon's entertainment for local emergency services. The unnamed chap from Mooroopna, some 180km north of Melbourne, apparently decided it was a bit of a wheeze to conceal himself inside the appliance …
Lester Haines, 06 Jan 2014
Nokia Lumia 930

Mobile broadband giants blow $45bn on Uncle Sam's finest air

Cell networks in the US have spent $44.9bn buying the rights to use a chunk of the American government's airwaves for wireless broadband networks. The FCC has just finished auctioning off the frequencies in its latest Advanced Wireless Services sale, dubbed AWS-3. It had hoped to bank just $10bn from the selloff to help line the …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jan 2015
Motorola StarTac

Lenovo: We'll say HELLO MOTO to profits in 18 months

Lenovo is looking to do for Motorola mobiles what it did for the IBM Thinkpad, kicking life into the products and making the company profitable. The aim is to make the company profitable in the next 18 months. All 3,500 people who had been working for Motorola under Google ownership have transferred to Lenovo, and while the …
Simon Rockman, 25 Nov 2014
Twitter for Mac Old

#ALERT! There'll be EMERGENCIES on TWITTER for UK, Ireland

Twitter has brought its emergency alert system to the UK and Ireland after it kicked off in the US, Japan and South Korea in September. The microblogging site has signed up Blighty's coppers, firefighters and other government agencies so they can tweet urgent messages at the country in times of crisis, or at least the small …

Save spectrum for public safety: Oz parl't committee

Public safety users need broadband radio access and should be allocated 20 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band, according to an Australian parliamentary report. Emergency services have been seeking extra spectrum for years, while the government has seen the 700 MHz frequencies vacated by TV broadcasters during the move to …

Wanna slice of £6bn? Set up an IT supplier and apply to the UK.gov

The tender for the UK government's colossal IT supply framework, worth up to £6bn over four years, has finally landed on the desks of would-be suppliers – months after it was first expected. UK.gov procurement body Crown Commercial Services has dispatched copies of the Computer Equipment and Supplies (CES) tender, initially …
Paul Kunert, 20 May 2014
Generic mast

EE boffin: 5G will be the LAST WORD in mobe tech – literally

Andy Sutton, principal network architect for UK mobile network EE and a visiting professor at the University of Salford, says 5G will be built around small cells and a heterogeneous network. According to the good prof, whose institution is working with EE on streaming 4K hi-def TV, there will be a level of meshing between small …
Simon Rockman, 21 May 2014
Sydney Opera House Hackathon logo

NSW budget calls for lower GST threshold on imports

The Australian State of New South Wales' annual Budget has called for the threshold at which the nation's ten per cent goods and services tax (GST) is applied to imported goods to be lowered. The GST is collected by Australia's federal government, but handed back to the States. While the tax applies to most goods and services, …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jun 2014
Drissa-Coulibaly,-GWS-Opera

Coughing for 4G, getting 2G... Networks' penny-pinching SECRETS REVEALED

Top 4G? Shockingly, the team that completed the London commuter train connectivity study we covered yesterday has reported the use of half-rate codecs among UK mobile providers. Half-rate codecs were developed as an economy measure and their use shows penny-pinching on the part of the networks. According to the study, O2 used …
Simon Rockman, 15 Oct 2014

Ofcom snatches spectrum from SPIES for mobile broadband

UK regulator Ofcom has put together a guide (PDF) for how radio spectrum should be used. It’s a mix of a plan and a request for input from the warring factions that use it, but provides a good starting point in the farming process. There is a principle that a new mobile technology appears every 10 years or so, which would put 5G …
Simon Rockman, 01 May 2014

Pagers shout data center creds, pop star airport arrivals

Anyone wanting to know the time world leaders arrive in Australia for the coming G20 summit need only listen to broadcasts from Aussie airports, researcher Ed Farrell has claimed at the Ruxcon conference. News of VIP airport arrivals are just one of the interesting pieces of information the Sydney security consultant monitored …
Darren Pauli, 22 Oct 2014

eBay, Facebook, Tumblr ALL go TITSUP in me-too MULTI-FAIL

In what proved to be a frustrating day for online time-wasters everywhere, eBay, Facebook, and Tumblr all experienced brief service outages on Wednesday. Rather than being the result of a coordinated retaliatory strike by Russian hackers, however, it appears that the downtime was all due to IT cockups within the companies' own …
Neil McAllister, 03 Sep 2014

Boffins: You'll see, TWITTERNET! We'll get the TRUTH out of you...

While even emergency services have embraced Twitter as a way of conveying information to people quickly, the premature obituaries and malicious rumours seen on the social network every week show that you cannot trust what others tweet. That's why computer boffins from five European universities have started work on a lie …

US spanks phone-jamming vendor with $34.9 MEEELLION fine

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a $34.9 million fine against a Chinese firm it says is selling illegal phone-jamming equipment to US consumers. The FCC said that it is seeking the penalties against Shenzen-based C.T.S. Technology, and has issued a cease-and-desist order halting sales in the US and …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jun 2014
The Register breaking news

US starts emergency radio tests

The Department of Homeland Security has announced preliminary tests of a radio designed to use all the frequencies where first responders hang out, which might prove easier than getting them all to use one network. In an attempt to unify the radio systems used by American emergency teams, the Department of Homeland Security has …
Bill Ray, 03 Jul 2009
LG LTE

LTE's backers vow to KILL OFF WI-FI and BLUETOOTH

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, weightless and Sigfox, not to mention GPS and TETRA: LTE’s proponents plan to make every one of them redundant, while also ensuring their own advanced wireless standard becomes the only one anyone, anywhere, will ever need. And all this by March 2016. Long-Term Evolution's supporters have never hidden their …
Bill Ray, 08 Oct 2014
JP Morgan HQ at Canary Wharf

IT executive at JP Morgan dies in fall from bank's London HQ

A man who died in a fall from JP Morgan's headquarters in London yesterday has been named as Gabriel Magee, a senior IT programmer at the firm. The 39-year-old American had worked for the investment bank for ten years in both New York and London and was vice president in CIB Technology at the time of his death. "We are deeply …
Team Register, 29 Jan 2014

Transparency by Telstra: a good start but not enough

Telstra probably thought it was doing the right thing by joining other big names and publishing a transparency report. Instead, it's become a focus of criticism for, in the eyes of 'net freedom advocates, handing over too much customer information on too little pretext. The carrier's report has led to a headline number: more …
The Register breaking news

London Underground gets emergency phone network

The emergency services phone network, Airwave, was activated at 125 underground stations in London this morning, providing seamless coverage for service personnel working the tube. Airwave is based on Tetra technology, providing cellular services for special handsets and (in theory) allowing emergency services to talk to each …
Bill Ray, 14 Jan 2009