Public Safety Initiative

What are we doing?

Joint Venture’s Public Safety Initiative is a coalition between the wireless industry, first responders, businesses, and residents working together to improve wireless network coverage in Silicon Valley for the purpose of enhancing public safety. The coalition builds on existing relationships with technology companies and first responder leaders to drive a coordinated public-private partnership effort, and mounts a highly strategic campaign to transform Silicon Valley’s wireless network infrastructure to support the societal shift away from wired telephony systems.

Focus Areas

  • Emerging Technologies - 4G small cell, 5G.
  • Public Safety Networks - Wireless E911, NG-911, FirstNet, MC-PTT.
  • Socio-economics - How the public is shifting from wired towards wireless technologies for home telephony.

Our Strategies

  • Educate Public and Private Sector Stakeholders – Identify key stakeholders in both local residents and public safety leadership, and educate them on technology and trends in the wireless industry.
  • Locate New Technologies – Identify early-stage companies with compelling technology, and bring those companies to the attention of the consortium.
  • Heightened Advocacy in Local Jurisdictions – Provide a strong regional voice speaking to the supportive nature of robust wireless network infrastructure for public safety.
  • Expand Coalition – Find common ground and encourage dialog between first responders, residents, technology companies and the wireless industry and build coalitions to improve our regional wireless networks.

Why are we doing it?

Residents of the U.S. have increasingly shifted away from wired telephony towards wireless service. Nationwide, more than half of adults live in households without wired telephones. Two out of three children in the U.S. live in households with only wireless service. Three out of four renters are wireless-only, seven out of ten hispanics are wireless-only, and more than three out of four adults under age 34 are wireless-only. In the Western U.S. these ratios are even higher; some socio-economic groups are almost entirely wireless-only. Yet our wireless telephony networks often struggle to provide indoor coverage, leading to dangerous situations where people who need help can not make or receive calls. In recent years, 80% of all 911 calls to emergency services were placed from wireless phones.

Why do we have this problem?

Wireless networks were originally designed as a mobile technology, for use while in a car or other outdoor activities. Over time, people developed a preference for wireless phones because of their convenience, portability, and ability to perform functions other than just make phone calls. This leads naturally to wanting their phones to work where they spend most of their time; at home. Unfortunately the original infrastructure of wireless networks (with large towers covering many square miles) does not always provide good indoor coverage. The industry is working to add new low-power sites to address these coverage gaps, but progress in this deployment is not keeping up with demand.

What are the next steps?

  • Outreach to leaders in the first responder community.
  • Technology companies, employees of local governments, businesses, and residents can contact us to find out more about the Initiative and factors affecting public safety.
  • Outreach to residents and community leaders to educate on the benefits of a robust wireless infrastructure.
  • Seminars, Roundtables, and Symposiums will be hosted on a regular basis to provide education and a forum for coalition-building.
  • Steering Committee meetings are held every six weeks.

Where do I find out more?

To learn more about the Public Safety Initiative, to request a briefing, or to inquire about membership please contact:

Edward Godfrey