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Pilot Program Gets Mobile TVs To First Responders

Miami — The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), Florida Association of Broadcasters (FAB) and Dyle mobile TV are teaming up to provide mobile TV devices to Florida’s State Emergency Response Team (SERT) as part of a pilot program to assist first responders during the 2013 hurricane season.

Bryan Koon, Florida Emergency Management Division director, said mobile TV will provide another tool for local officials to share information before, during, and after a disaster.

“The June 1 kickoff of hurricane season serves as a reminder that Floridians must be prepared for disasters of all types,” Koon said. “Providing timely information is a key element in our communication strategy, and we’re grateful to Dyle mobile TV, the NAB and the FAB for giving SERT a chance to test mobile TV’s emergency response capabilities.”

Dyle is an association of broadcasters operated by the Mobile Content Venture, representing 12 broadcast groups, offering conditional access mobile TV services in 37 U.S. markets and growing, currently covering 57 percent of the population. Dyle mobile TV compatible apps enable live broadcast programming, including entertainment, news, weather and sports, utilizing the ATSC-Mobile DTV standard, on mobile devices featuring Dyle compatibility.

The NAB has partnered with Dyle mobile TV to provide up to 100 mobile TV devices to the Florida Division of Emergency Management for use and testing during the 2013 hurricane season.

Local television stations in more than 140 cities are now delivering live, local mobile TV to smartphones, tablets and other “on-the-go” devices through Dyle and other platforms.

Participating broadcasters view the Florida mobile TV pilot program as an extension of the “first informer” role that radio and TV stations play during times of crisis.

“The unfortunate reality is that during an emergency weather situation, local broadcasters are often the only reliable source of information,” said Gordon Smith, NAB president and CEO. “It is common for cell phone networks to become over-loaded, resulting in customer delays in receiving valuable, timely information. Meanwhile, cable and Internet connections can be spotty. But because of broadcasting’s robust ‘one-to-everyone’ transmission architecture, mobile TV is designed to deliver live and local news and information to mobile devices reliably and without interruption.”

Volunteer Florida will work with their member organizations to test the devices in the event of an emergency.

“Mobile TV’s use of live and local communication is a critical leap forward in terms of immediacy, impact and simultaneous communication to potentially millions of citizens,” said Salil Dalvi and Erik Moreno, co-general managers of Dyle mobile TV. “Dyle is pleased and excited to participate in this test with the Florida Division of Emergency Management.”