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
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 …
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
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

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
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

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
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

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
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

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
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 …
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

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 …
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

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

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

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

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
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

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 …

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 …
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
A football might be big enough on a small screen, but golf?

Shift over, TV firms: LTE Broadcast will nuke current mobile telly tech

Telephone companies could supplant television companies as the source of goggle-box fodder, says mobile gear-maker Ericsson as it promotes the new mobile LTE Broadcast specification. Unlike traditional mobile phone communication, which is one-to-one, LTE Broadcast sends the same data to many people. It's a little like the SMS- …
Simon Rockman, 23 Jun 2014

Sysadmins fail to fix NHS IT snafu, HUNDREDS of appointments cancelled

IT staff at the UK's largest health board have failed to fix a major system error that's cutting health workers off from clinical and administrative services. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) had to cancel 288 outpatient appointments yesterday along with four planned inpatient procedures, 23 day cases and 40 chemotherapy …

You're fired: Lord Sugar offloads faded PC builder Viglen to XMA

Lord Sugar has walked away from education tech supplier Viglen, which has inked a big channel merger deal with government reseller XMA. The company's customer services boss Glyn Wragg told workers on Monday about the takeover. An anonymous source, who works at the firm, told The Channel that it was the first official word …
Team Register, 09 Jan 2014

Call girl injected Google exec with heroin, drank wine, left him to die – cops claim

A woman described as a high-priced escort by cops has been charged with the manslaughter of a Google executive found dead in his yacht after a heroin overdose. Alix Catherine Tichelman Mug shot ... Alix Catherine Tichelman Alix Catherine Tichelman, 26, was arrested in a sting operation on July 4 in connection with the death …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jul 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
The existing, human crewed Caterpillar 797B

Ericsson and Kodiak in Europe WALKIE-TALKIE-style push-to-talk push

Push-to-talk company Kodiak has struck a deal with Ericsson to sell the systems it is currently touting to the US market through American firm Cspire to European telcos. The pair are aiming to sell these services to both real mobile network operators and virtual ones. The technology emulates an old-fashioned walkie-talkie using …
Simon Rockman, 18 Feb 2014

Is computer biz Viglen about to GET FIRED? Lord Sugar's firm in rumoured sell-off

Lord Sugar is close to selling education tech supplier Viglen to Westcoast Holdings, folk in Blighty's system builder community are telling us – a claim that has been flatly denied by the named buyer. The word on the street is that Hertfordshire-based Viglen has been in talks with the group, which also houses distributor …
Paul Kunert, 08 Nov 2013

Lord Shug ends Viglen ownership with a bang

Lord Shuggie's public sector tech supplier Viglen booked a double digit sales and profit hike in fiscal '13 ended 30 September - the final full financial year under the hirsute walnut's ownership. After autumn negotiations, the business was offloaded to XMA in January for an undisclosed sum – with chief exec Bordan Tkachuk …
Paul Kunert, 13 Mar 2014
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
Oblivion, the movie comms officer desk

Sat comms kit riddled with backdoors for hackers – researcher

Security researchers claim to have uncovered myriad security problems with satellite communication systems. But while major manufacturer Iridium said the security weaknesses identified by security researchers at IOActive were in hand, Thuraya, another satellite comms service, has criticised the report as inaccurate. Ruben …
John Leyden, 23 Apr 2014
The Register breaking news

Oz sets $AU900 million reserve for remaining 700 MHz spectrum

The federal government has decided to set a price of $AU900 million on the 700 MHz spectrum that remained unsold after auctions earlier this year, and in the process has closed off any chance that the spectrum would be given to the country's public safety agencies. The ministerial direction sets the price of the unsold spectrum …
The European flag

ENISA wants mobes to wander freely between carriers in emergencies

The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has floated the idea that all mobile phones should be able to roam to another network within their country of residence, in order to enhance the resilience of mobile networks. The idea is outlined in a new report, titled ”National Roaming for Resilience: …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Nov 2013
The Register breaking news

Bobbies need broadband-enabled gear, insist 4G LTE fans

Critical Communications World While consumers have access to 4G networks, emergency services are still stuck with 2G - and it's going to take more than rebranding their annual conference to bring LTE to the uniformed masses. The conference used to be called TETRA World, but in an attempt to imitate its consumer equivalent (which successfully flipped from " …
Bill Ray, 29 May 2013
VoLTE compatible: LG Revolution

EE in giant VoLTE-face as it tries voice calls over Wi-Fi... again

It may be third time lucky for EE with an attempt to route voice calls over Wi-Fi, as the company has announced it is working on another service which reduces the often prohibitive cost of rolling out coverage to places with few people and difficult terrain. The new service will allow customers to use an unmodified handset with …
Simon Rockman, 20 Jun 2014

Don't buy that phone! It ATTRACTS CRIMINALS, UK.gov will tell people

Home Secretary Theresa May announced this morning that the government plans to publish a mobile phone theft index to help Brits make informed decisions about what handsets to buy, based on which is the least likely to be nicked by wrongdoers. The cabinet minister revealed the proposal in a speech sploshed with pre-General …
Kelly Fiveash, 03 Sep 2014
The Register breaking news

Government plans emergency extranet

The Civil Contingencies Secretariat and Communities and Local Government are developing a National Resilience Extranet. They have signed a contract with BT to provide the service, which will enable the secure exchange of information in response to civil emergencies such as floods and outbreaks of agricultural diseases. The …
Kablenet, 10 Dec 2008
The Register breaking news

Hams drafted into US emergency comms network

President Bush has approved legislation that will make amateur radio hams part of the emergency communications network in the US. The provision was tucked away in a section of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) 2007 Appropriations Act (HR 5441), which was signed into law on Wednesday following earlier Congressional …
John Leyden, 06 Oct 2006