Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) Services and Broadband in Asia and the Pacific: A Study of Value and Opportunity Cost in the Assignment of Radio Spectrum

With the digital dividend on the agenda of economies of the Asia Pacific region it is timely to review the spectrum requirements of Public Safety services, also known as Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) services. For decades PPDR services provided by ‘first responders’ (police, fire and ambulance, civil defence, auxiliary services) have been using narrowband and more recently wideband and leased lines from public telecommunications services (fixed and wireless). Civil society is increasingly using broadband Internet-connected networks and devices, and so are criminals and terrorists. The case for PPDR services using broadband applications such as high definition real-time video, locational services with maps, fast access to remote databases and biometric information, multi-channel secure dedicated networks, is becoming all too clear as public safety is threatened by both a rise in the incidence and cost of natural and man-made disasters (see the trend data in the paper) and by the costs of crime, not least the growing cost of cybercrime.

This research paper is the first attempt within the region to place a valuation on the costs of public safety and the opportunity cost of assigning radio spectrum to a dedicated broadband network for PPDR service, and was supported by Motorola Solutions.

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