A massive telecom project intended to connect emergency workers and law enforcement across every state and territory on a unified broadband system is coming to Alaska.
Alaska already has a public safety communications system in place that allows police, firefighters and medical personnel to get on the same channel and talk to one another on walkie-talkie-like devices with the turn of a dial and the push of a button.
But the new network, called "FirstNet," will use broadband technology to go beyond voice-only connections. Wildland firefighters will be able to send and receive photos and real-time maps of a fast-moving blaze. A police officer might receive the audio recording of a 911 call or floor plans of the building where a crime is taking place.