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The politics of public safety communication interoperability regulation


  • Mayer-Schönberger, Viktor


This article examines an understudied area of telecommunication policy, namely the regulation of public safety radio communication to bring about communication interoperability. Commonality and funding are the two intertwined policy challenges need to be overcome to achieve this interoperability. Addressing these challenges separately, US federal policy has struggled to establish communication interoperability. By contrast, the integrated approach of the Europeans has resulted in a relatively successful outcome. It is argued that this integrated approach may even permit the transplantation of a more general telecommunication policy thread--competition--to the public safety radio communication field. However, whether interoperability is established may also be linked to intra-agency fears of a potential re-direction of hierarchical communication flows brought about by new (and configurable) communication infrastructure. If this is the case, policy-makers regulating for interoperability will need to take into account inter- and intra-agency organizational dynamics as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Mayer-Schönberger, Viktor, 2005. "The politics of public safety communication interoperability regulation," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 831-842, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:29:y:2005:i:11:p:831-842

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