Author: Ken Bradley, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Office of External Affairs
International Wireless Communications Expo
The International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) is the leading event for communications technology, bringing over 7,000 industry public safety professionals all in one place. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is partnering with the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) at Exhibit Hall on Wednesday and Thursday in Booth #715, but first CISA is partnering with its public safety partners in two sessions today.
This session had 11 panel of 11 subject matter experts of engineers, practitioners, and consultants including James Downes, CISA Federal Emergency Communications Section Chief, and moderated by Steve Nichols, Project 25 Technology Interest Group (PTIG), who discussed the importance of Project 25 (P25) to public safety including its history, case studies, recent developments, and security. P25 is a set of accredited technical standards for land mobile radio (LMR) designed for public safety. Mr. Downes discussed P25 testing, the test template that is available for equipment testing where standards do not yet exist. The template was conceived to test the common features and functions between the systems with an intent to report on interoperability. P25 interoperability importance to public safety remains relevant as broadband technology networks begin to integrate LMR mission critical voice.
Dusty Rhoads, CISA Governance Branch Chief, moderated a panel of experts on the importance of using Communications Unit Leaders (COML) to coordinate the increasingly complex amount of information and data collected, analyzed, and utilized at an incident scene. Panelists agreed that even if the technologies necessary for receiving and transmitting data are available, public safety organizations need to continue best practices supporting the people and processes aspects of emergency communications interoperability, including cross-border, regional governance; integrated and complementary standards operating procedures; regular, comprehensive regional training and exercises; and consistent use, practice, and coordination of existing, new, and emerging technologies during planned and unplanned events. To ensure interoperability, coordination has to be done ahead of the incident.
CISA continues tomorrow with additional panels and exhibiting at IWCE. For CISA’s full schedule of events at IWCE, please visit the SAFECOM Blog.