October 29, 2018
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness of those in our communities who struggle with the threat of physical abuse, sexual abuse and rape, and intimidation at the hands of an intimate partner. In the US, domestic violence strikes one family in the US every nine seconds. The National Network to End Domestic Violence reported domestic violence hotlines nationwide receive more than 20,000 calls per day. For victims, having a reliable way to contact someone in a time of need can mean the difference between life and death.
A cell phone and a strong wireless connection are critical tools for those that suffer from domestic violence. Abusers often attempt to isolate victims and cell phones provide these victims with a connection to the outside world. Men, women and children who endure and/or witness domestic abuse need strong wireless connections to call 9-1-1, domestic violence hotlines, and supportive friends and family who can intervene.
The wireless industry is working to promote public safety through wireless technology. At a national level, the wireless industry supports the Wireless Emergency Alert program, the newest and most effective tool in our nation’s emergency alerting system. At the local level, the wireless industry is building and harnessing new technologies to make it easier for first responders to find individuals that need help in an efficient manner.
But, as our demand for data increases the capacity of our existing wireless network is strained. The resulting data congestion can prevent calls from being made. While this may just be an inconvenience to most of us, to someone in an emergency that call may literally be a lifeline. With 80 percent of all 9-1-1 calls originating from a cell phone, it is clear that we must prioritize investment in a strong and reliable wireless network to ensure that those in need can have access to help when needed.
Our local governments are responsible for working with wireless carriers and wireless infrastructure developers to approve permits for wireless infrastructure. Unfortunately, this isn’t happening fast enough to keep up with demand, and we run the risk of increased data congestion and decreased reliability on our wireless network if we don’t significantly speed up the installation of small cells that will increase data capacity. This is a public safety priority.
WIN educates and advocates with key public safety organizations and other related third-party stakeholders to ensure wireless infrastructure can be deployed to keep citizens safe and connected.
Join WIN to stay up-to-date on wireless issues and add your voice to the growing demand for reliable wireless connectivity.