April 8, 2008 By News Report
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley announced yesterday the state has received federal approval of its advanced communications plan for first responders and a $13.5 million homeland security grant to help implement the plan.
The State Interoperable Communications Plan, designed by state and local leaders, allows for technological advancement in communications for first responders across the state. Alabama is one of only twenty states to receive federal approval so far.
"When our first responders can't communicate properly during an emergency, lives could be lost. That's why Alabama has placed such a huge emphasis on moving forward in helping our first responders with their communications needs," said Riley. "Alabamians should be encouraged and proud that our state is a leader states when it comes to homeland security and public safety."
Alabama Department of Homeland Security Director Jim Walker added, "The development of this plan was a collaborative effort that took over 18 months to define. With the federal approval, we can now move on to the hard work of executing the plan so that our first responders have the most effective communications possible."
Grant funds will be used to establish a statewide communications system, enhance the wide area interoperability system, expand the state's technology reserve, and complete a communications layer for Virtual Alabama. The state plan was approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Emergency Communications, and the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
This Digital Communities white paper highlights discussions with IT officials in four counties that have adopted shared services models. Our aim was to learn about the obstacles these governments have faced when it comes to shared services and what it takes to overcome those roadblocks. We also spoke with several members of the IT industry who have thought long and hard about these issues. The paper offers some best practices for shared government-to-government services, but also points out challenges that government and industry still must overcome before this model gains widespread adoption.