Headlines: July 20th, 2001

Access to BT Airwave, the digital radio service restricted for use by police, fire and ambulance services, is to be extended to allow greater joined up communication. The Department of Trade and Industry has approve the extension of the service to groups which either respond to emergencies, or interact with those who do so to help agencies be better equipped to work together to enhance public safety.The new users include NHS Primary Care Groups and Primary Care Trusts. Within these groups and trusts there are community nursing teams, district nurses, midwives, psychiatric nurses and GPs with social services staff. Closed Circuit TV control rooms are also included in the extension because they need to pass information to the “blue light” services such as city centre CCTV operators to steer police or medical teams to the precise location of city centre incidents.

All police forces are due to have BT Airwave in operation by 2005.

BT are continuing to supply pubic services needs with 5.5 million pounds contract with North Lincolnshire Council to provide broadband networks for schools. The service will have up to fifteen times the capacity of current networks and the contract includes the delivery of educational content. The network will link 378 schools and provide video conferencing and allow teachers to conduct interactive lessons for the half a million students. It will also form a regional communications network between schools and councils in the area enabling collaboration on projects and the exchange of information between schools.