(courtesy Aaron Aupperlee, Trib Total Media, published: Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 11:26 p.m.) A federal mandate forcing Allegheny County [Pennsylvania] public safety agencies to switch radio frequencies by 2023 could cost millions of dollars and cause catastrophic disruptions to emergency services, a county official said Wednesday. These fears are being realized as the Federal Communications Commission, tasked with enforcing the switch, closed public comment Tuesday on the mandate and will determine how to proceed. "We are feverishly asking the FCC to reconsider," said Alvin Henderson, chief of the county Department of Emergency Services. "We're saying it is catastrophic to our operations." The mandate does not affect the City of Pittsburgh or several surrounding counties ... (read more)
FW: NG9-1-1 Takes a Major Step Forward in Canada: National Governance and Coordination Workshop a Success!
June 13, 2013
(courtesy of Inspector (Ret.) Lance Valcour O.O.M., Executive Director, CITIG) As NG9-1-1 relates to Cross Border Interoperability as well, please see our announcement from today (we planned and ran this workshop in the middle of doing the six cross border and a provincial):
CITIG, in partnership with the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Canada and the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) Canada proudly hosted a two-day workshop on June 10 and 11, 2013 in Ottawa designed to chart the future of Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) governance and coordination in Canada. Follow this link for full details. Full workshop proceedings to be posted soon.
On June 13, 2013 at the Paramedic Chiefs of Canada's annual conference in Saint John, New Brunswick, CITIG Secretary, Superintendent Greg Furlong, Ottawa Paramedic Service and CITIG Executive Director Lance Valcour announced the creation of CITIG’s new "Action NG9-1-1" initiative (see presentation). Similar to what CITIG created in 2010 when they announced "Action 700" (www.action700.ca), Action NG9-1-1 will encompass a wide range of communications and marketing efforts including a new Web site with strategic resources such as a one pager, briefing notes, sample presentation and FAQs. CITIG will also leverage Social Media, regional presentations and related communications efforts.
For more on Action NG9-1-1 please go to www.NG9-1-1.ca, follow @CITIG_Canada and #Action_NG911 on Twitter or join the CITIG discussion Group on LinkedIn.
(courtesy Paul Kirby, TR Daily) – Parties have weighed in on a notice of proposed rulemaking released by the FCC in March (TRDaily, March 8) concerning rules to protect against harmful interference in the 700 megahertz band public safety spectrum, including by urging the Commission to lift a freeze on equipment certification and supporting the consolidation of technical service rules for the nationwide public safety broadband network under the agency’s part 90 regulations ... [more]
In addition, NPSTC also submitted Comments on NPRM on 700 MHz Band Spectrum ... [more]
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will host the Video Quality in Public Safety (VQiPS) Workshop in downtown Houston on Wednesday, July 24, and Thursday, July 25. Those who have already registered for the VQiPS March meeting will not have to register again for the Workshop scheduled for July. Contact VQIPS_Working_Group@sra.com if you plan on attending the Workshop or if you will not be able to attend based on the new dates.
FirstNet Consultation Workshops Announced
May 16, 2013
(courtesy Joelle Tessler, NTIA) – The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is holding six regional consultation workshops in May and June of 2013 ... [more]
Although public safety regularly use cell phones, smart phones, and other commercial wireless devices and services as a secondary form of communications, these devices and systems are currently not sufficiently suited for public safety mission critical voice communications during critical incidents ... [read more]
Great News for Public Safety: TIA Issues New Safety Standard for Battery Powered-LMR
April 08, 2013
NPSTC congratulates the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) on the American National Standards Institute approval of their new standard. The TIA standard answers public safety's need for technical information related to the design, manufacturing, and testing of battery-powered, Land Mobile Radio (LMR) equipment, typically either hand-carried or worn on the person ... [read more]
Are You Operating in the T-Band? Changes Will Affect You – Loss of the T-Band Could Cost $5.9 Billion
The T-Band frequencies in 470–512 MHz are authorized for use in 11 metro markets by both public safety and industrial/business users. Public safety has built extensive communications networks on the T-Band, which provides frequencies in metro areas where spectrum demand is the greatest. An unexpected provision of the law that created the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) also requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to recover and auction the public safety T-Band spectrum... [read more]
Substantial Service Showings for 700 MHz State Licensees
March 15, 2013
NPSTC Develops Procedure to Assist State Licensee Holders Meet FCC Requirements
In 2000, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated 2.4 megahertz of the 700 MHz narrowband spectrum for statewide geographic licensing. The Governor of each state authorized an individual or state agency within the state, to apply and or manage this 700 MHz license... [read more]
NPSTC Develops Launch Requirements for Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network
December 11, 2012
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 has made the deployment of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) possible. This groundbreaking legislation establishes the governance and identifies the funding necessary to build a public safety broadband network. The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), assigned to deploy and operate the NPSBN, will need a statement of public safety’s technical and administrative requirements in the immediate‐, medium‐, and long‐terms. On December 11, 2012, NPSTC presented the Launch Statement of Requirements (SoR) to the First Net Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), who in turn has presented it to the FirstNet Board to assist them as they begin to develop the long‐awaited NPSBN.
The 15 public safety organizations that comprise NPSTC, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, American Radio Relay League, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Association of Public‐Safety Communications Officials‐International, Forestry Conservation Communications Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, International Association of Emergency Managers, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Municipal Signal Association, National Association of State Chief Information Officers, National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials, National Association of State Foresters, National Association of State Technology Directors, National Emergency Number Association, and the National Sheriff's Association formally voted to endorse the Public Safety Broadband High‐Level Launch Requirements, Statement of Requirements for FirstNet Consideration.
NPSTC's Broadband Working Group prepared this document to describe the high‐level public safety requirements required for launch of the network. The Launch SoR has been developed by public safety practitioners from all disciplines, experts in public safety communications, commercial wireless providers, members of academia, information technologists, equipment manufacturers, and many others who have dedicated numerous hours because they know they are contributing to one of the most important technology initiatives of their careers.
These volunteers came together through the NPSTC Broadband Working Group (BBWG), working with the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program. PSCR is jointly supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/Office of Law Enforcement Standards (OLES) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)/Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) with additional funding from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS's), Office of Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC), and the Office of Emergency Communications (OEC).
The AFST Working Group received many comments on the need for additional narrowband spectrum to support public safety operations, including the need for additional interoperability spectrum assignments. There is a need for additional VHF narrowband spectrum to support existing and future public safety communications needs. Many rural agencies compete with statewide public safety agencies for access to VHF spectrum, which is highly desirable spectrum due to its ability to cover very wide areas at lower costs. The currently allocated Public Safety spectrum is insufficient to meet current voice and data needs, will not permit deployment of needed advanced data and video systems, does not provide adequate interoperability channels, and will not meet future needs under projected population growth and demographic changes.
What States, Locals Need to Know to Prepare for Rollout of Nationwide PS Broadband Network
July 16, 2012
Congress passed groundbreaking legislation for a new Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) on February 17, 2012. The Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act of 2012 was signed by President Obama on February 22. The legislation (Public Law 112-96) allocates the D Block spectrum to public safety, provides $7 billion federal funding for the network, and establishes a nationwide governance structure, the First Responder Network Authority(FirstNet). The FirstNet Board is scheduled to be appointed by August 20, 2012.
Video Graphically Highlights Need for Broadband to Manage Public Safety Events
June 13, 2012
Managing complex emergencies demands new approaches to collaboration and decision support. Precision Information Environments will improve the way people interact with each other and with information throughout the emergency management lifecycle, from planning to response, recovery and mitigation. See how Precision Information Environments might be used in one scenario. Working with stakeholders from across the emergency management community, and with sponsorship from the Command, Control and Interoperability Division Basic/Futures Research program within the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are developing future work environments for emergency management.