As law enforcement desperately hunted the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, the city's reliance on commercial cellular wireless carriers became an escalating problem. Just like runners who had trouble reconnecting with their families, the city experienced major crashes in the aftermath of the deadly bombing.
"I called Comcast and asked them to open up the Xfinity Wi-Fi in Watertown," Boston Chief Information Officer Donald Denning said in an interview with Stateline.
The massive investigation demonstrated how first responders need to be able to securely share high volumes of data with partners in other law enforcement agencies. Denning said the city's reliance on the capacity of commercial carriers reinforced the need for a dedicated national public safety broadband network that is now in its planning stage.