The federal government introduced new mandates for 2012 to address the lack of interoperability of communications equipment among first responders in different departments, localities and jurisdictions. The FCC designated 10 MHz of the spectrum as part of the national broadband plan for emergency communications. Licenses for other parts of the spectrum were auctioned off to the private sector, in part to address the increasing bandwidth needs of cell phone providers. A portion of the proceeds was allocated to standardize communications infrastructure, ranging from towers to handheld radios. This had a significant impact on spending priorities for public safety departments trying to achieve P25 compliance. Through interviews with public safety departments across towns, cities, counties and states, Verbatim tracked spending levels over the course of two years while also determining which radio manufacturers would be the biggest beneficiaries. Verbatim simultaneously conducted interviews with re-sellers of communications equipment to expand our sample size and confirm our findings regarding market share changes. Our research was able to uncover both the timing of the spike in radio spending as well as the subsequent slowdown once the majority of departments had upgraded their infrastructure.
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