Push Forward Blog

An Update From Fairfax County Shows PTT Adoption Soaring

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There's some great news on push-to-talk (PTT) over cellular (PoC) from Mike Newburn, wireless manager for Fairfax County, Virginia, in his one-year follow up interview at IWCE 2017 with Donny Jackson of Urgent Communications.

Mike Newburn IWCE 2017 inteviewFirst, Mike shares that the Virginia state legislature recently passed HB 1888, which modifies the commercial vehicle driver laws to allow school-bus drivers to leverage PoC technology instead of being limited to communicating via two-way radio LMR technology.

This important change will let the Fairfax County school district transition its bus drivers to AT&T Enhanced Push-to-Talk (EPTT) on broadband wireless devices. Not only is the County able to return the $7+ million earmarked for replacement two-way radios to the general school budget, fleet operations are being streamlined for additional savings and improved record-keeping with mobile forms for time cards and pre-trip inspections on the same mobile devices. With the ability to make PTT calls to individuals and quick groups, drivers will receive only those instant communications calls they need to hear, no longer distracted by 4-1/2 hours of backgound radio noise on their routes each day.

Per Mike, adoption of EPTT is happening as fast as his team can logistically manage it, and once the school district and final agencies are moved over, he'll have about 3200 EPTT users. He says other Virginia counties have reached out to him to learn more, and he anticipates broad adoption by Virginina school districts and local govenments.

View video interview on Urgent Communications: http://urgentcomm.com/state-local-government/fairfax-county-va-mike-newburn-discusses-new-state-law-letting-school-bus-dri 

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