SLOW INTERNET service doesn’t just make it inconvenient to watch YouTube. As the response to Boston Marathon bombings proved, broadband deficiencies can hamper public safety workers, who rely on cellular services to communicate during major crises.
Currently, public safety entities work off of the same commercial carriers as everyone else. That is usually sufficient. But manhunts and high-intensity investigations like the ones that followed the bombings require law enforcement agencies to share of large volumes of data — often photos and videos, like those that led to the identification of the Tsarnaev brothers. Post-Marathon assessments by the Department of Homeland Security and the Pew Charitable Trust about the challenges of data sharing reinforce the need for a dedicated public safety wireless network.