Flux Research Group / School of Computing
SafeEdge: Public Safety with an Open Muni Network logo

SafeEdge: Public Safety with an Open Muni Network

Existing broadband networks are not well suited to satisfy the needs of public safety applications. It is economically infeasible to deploy dedicated public safety networks and existing broadband networks cannot provide the necessary protection/priority to public safety applications, thus running the risk that public safety communication will be interfered with precisely when it is most needed. We argue that the emergence of open access municipal software defined networks (SDNs), and more broadly municipal software defined infrastructures (SDIs), is a key enabler to address these concerns and to revolutionize public safety applications.

Towards realizing this vision, we propose a collaborative research program, called SafeEdge. We propose to: (i) Develop example next generation applications associated with the needs of a smart and connected small city. Our specific focus will be on public safety applications, i.e., institutional public safety applications as well as citizen-enabled public safety applications. However, to evaluate the multi-service nature of our environment, and the feasibility of mixing public safety applications with other applications and services, we will also explore non-public safety applications, e.g., dynamic remote classroom access, dynamic access to judicial functions, (remote arraignment, remote access to legal representation) etc. (ii) Explore the network abstractions, mechanisms and primitives required to support future public safety applications within the context of an open service municipal software defined infrastructure. We will specifically develop resource management mechanisms and algorithms to enable dynamic creation and/or modification of virtual network instances, and to provide appropriate prioritization of resources associated with public safety applications. We will also develop a flexible network access framework to enable the dynamic nature of next generation (public safety) applications. (iii) Use the municipal software defined infrastructure deployed in the City of Ammon, ID, to realize an example rural open service ecosystem and to form the physical broadband infrastructure on which we will be piloting our research.

SafeEdge featured on muninetworks.org.