Enabling emergency access to secure wireless communications networks

  • US 10,455,421 B2
  • Filed: 05/26/2017
  • Issued: 10/22/2019
  • Est. Priority Date: 09/25/2015
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. A public safety access device, comprising:

  • a wi-fi transceiver configurable to connect to, or act as an access point node of, a wi-fi network;

    a memory device configured to store an encrypted key repository, the encrypted key repository configured to store a universal encryption key (UEK) and public safety encryption (PS) keys, associated with the UEK, to provide access for authorized public safety users to the wi-fi network; and

    one or more processors configured to execute;

    a wi-fi controller module configured to control the wi-fi transceiver;

    a wi-fi network gateway module coupled to the wi-fi controller module and configured to manage the access by authorized public safety users to the wi-fi network;

    an alert module configured to receive an alarm from a public safety access point (PSAP); and

    an authentication module configured to receive a PSKey from a user device requesting access to the wi-fi network, and compare the received PSKey with the UEK stored in the encrypted key repository and authenticate one of the authorized public safety users based on the comparison;

    wherein the alert module is further configured to, responsive to the reception of the alarm, activate a public safety mode that enables the authentication module to authenticate one of the authorized public safety users; and

    wherein the wi-fi network gateway module is further configured to communicatively connect the user device to the wi-fi network in response to the authentication of the one of the authorized public safety users by the authentication module.

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