The first presidential inauguration since 9/11 was also the first major test of a new 68 square mile wireless broadband security network across the District of Columbia.
When the district, which is the first-responder entity for the U.S. Capitol, started coordinating with the Secret Service last fall for Inauguration Day security, "we told them we could give them wireless broadband access to any of their officers anywhere in D.C.," says Robert LeGrande, the district's deputy CTO. For Inauguration Day, and then again for the State of the Union address, the district opened its wireless network to federal agencies like the Secret Service and U.S. Park Police.
During the inauguration, mobile units from D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department and the coroner's office also used the system, the latter so that it could quickly identify bodies in case of a mass attack. Live video feeds from the metro area transit agency's tunnels enabled the various participants to monitor for possible attacks, and video feeds from Secret Service vehicles and other sites were transmitted wirelessly to the central surveillance system.
There were no attacks or other disasters at either event, but the coordinated effort proved the effectiveness of a regional wireless integrated network, notes D.C. CTO Suzanne Peck.