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NPSTCs Current Events and Activities in Public Safety Communications

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Title: NPSTCs Current Events and Activities in Public Safety Communications


1
NPSTCs - Current Events and Activities in Public
Safety Communications
  • IWCE 2008
  • Thursday February 28, 2008 1115am 1230pm
  • Moderator Marilyn Ward
  • Panelists Tom Sorley, Douglas Aiken , Ralph
    Haller, and John Powell

2
NPSTC Member Organizations
  • Member Organizations
  • American Association of State Highway and
    Transportation Officials
  • American Radio Relay League
  • 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 Association of Fish and Wildlife
    Agencies
  • 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 Telecommunications
    Directors
  • National Emergency Number Association
  • National Sheriffs Association
  • Associate Members
  • Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest
    Group
  • Telecommunications Industry Association
  • Liaison Organizations
  • Department of Justice
  • National Institute of Justice
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • National Telecommunications and Information
    Administration
  • U.S. Department of Interior
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • Office of Interoperability Compatibility
  • Office of Emergency Communications
  • Federal Partnership for Interoperable
    Communications
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency
  • SAFECOM
  • U.S. Department of Interior

2
3
How is NPSTC organized?
  • NPSTCs Governing Board
  • Representatives from each of its member
    organizations.
  • Executive Committee
  • The Executive Committee comprises a Chair, two
    Vice Chairs, and the four Committee Chairs.
  • Four Operational Committees
  • Interoperability Committee
  • PSST Advisory Committee
  • Spectrum Management Committee
  • Technology Committee

3
4
NPSTC Organization
4
5
Tom SorleyTechnology
6
In-Building Working Group
  • Vendor Neutral Best Practices Document
  • Participation from Industry and Public Safety
    Paper published December 2007
  • The main document can be downloaded from the
    NPSTC website http//www.npstc.org/documents/20071
    212_NPSTC20IBWG20White20Paper.pdf
  • The Appendices can also be downloaded from the
    NPSTC website http//www.npstc.org/documents/20071
    212_IBWG20White20Paper20Appendix20A-E.pdf

7
Broadband Standards Working Group
  • Public Safety Requirements
  • Massive effort by industry and public safety
    community.
  • Document contained requirements of PS
  • Opportunity for Review and Comment was provided
    to over 256,000 public safety users
  • Received and responded to over 400 comments
  • Published November 2007

8
Broadband Standards Working Group Activities
  • Handset Requirements
  • 4.9GHz Standard
  • Harmonization of PS broadband

9
Technology Education Work Group
  • Investigating Topic Area Deficiencies
  • Determining Target Audience(s)
  • Investigating Training Vehicles
  • Participation Welcomed Encouraged

10
Douglas AikenVocoder
11
Background
  • In the Fall of 2006, a couple of U.S. fire
    departments discovered that the voice audio from
    digital radios in the presence of background
    noises (common to the fire operations) may cause
    distortion to the degree of becoming
    unintelligible.
  • These Departments after not being able to get
    resolution to the problem or identify the cause
    other than it being in digital radios notified
    the IAFC, and the IAFF.

11
12
Example of the Issue
12
13
Actions Taken on the Issue
  • March 20, 2007, the IAFC issued a Member Alert.
  • The IAFC also approved the formation of a Working
    Group to determine the scope of the problem and
    work with manufacturers and other stakeholders to
    identify and/or develop short and long term
    solutions.
  • On May 8, 2007, the Working Group convened and
    established two sub groups (Testing and Best
    Practices).
  • The Testing Group is focused on more long term
    solutions while the Best Practices Group is
    focused on quicker solutions through behavior
    and/or operational modifications.

13
14
Best Practices
  • On July 24, 2007, the Best Practices Group met
    and finalized forwarded its recommended best
    practices to the Working Group and to the Testing
    Group for follow-up.
  • Includes things such as microphone placement and
    specific issues that should be addressed in
    training.
  • Developed a PowerPoint presentation for
    educational and outreach purposes

14
15
Testing Group
  • In July, the Testing Group met in Denver and
    worked with NIST to develop a practical testing
    strategy. NIST started the testing on 11/9/07
    using an intelligibility test call the Modified
    Rhyme Test (MRT)
  • 9 noise conditions
  • With and without mask, noises like fire trucks,
    chain saws, low air alarms, PASS alarms
  • 4 radio systems
  • 25 KHz analog, 12.5 kHz analog, baseline P25, P25
    with enhanced vocoder
  • 54,000 sample files generated

15
16
Testing Status (as of 1/11/08)
  • 15 of 30 subjects tested
  • 12 additional subjects currently scheduled
  • Expect testing complete this month
  • Analysis expected by 2/28/08

16
17
Ralph HallerBorder Issues
18
General Propositions
  • Radio communications are essential for successful
    Public Safety operations
  • Interoperability is vital
  • Between agencies
  • Across borders
  • Interference poses a significant threat to
    successful communications and to the safety of
    life of public safety responders

18
19
Border Goals
  • Borders should be transparent for public safety
    operations
  • Interference must be eliminated quickly
  • Note Canada and Mexico present different
    challenges

19
20
Major PS Bands
  • 150 174 MHz
  • 450 470 MHz
  • 470 512 MHz
  • 700 MHz
  • 800 MHz (including NPSPAC)
  • 4.9 GHz wideband

20
21
Mexico
  • NPSTC supports the HLCC and its Directory of
    Bilateral Issues for 2007-2009
  • Protocols for VHF/UHF spectrum use
  • Reconfiguration of 800 MHz band
  • 700 MHz compatibility
  • Interference resolution procedures
  • NPSTC supports the cross-border microwave
    network solution for PS interoperability

21
22
Mexico, cont.
  • Further issues for consideration
  • 4.9 GHz
  • TV channel 15 vacated in Mexico and should be
    considered for Public Safety use
  • Adoption of common nomenclature for public safety
    communications across the border

22
23
Canada
  • 700/800 MHz progressing
  • Above 30 MHz Agreement needs revision
  • Too many US applications being denied
  • No common interference standards
  • No protocol for interference resolution
  • No 4.9 GHz agreement
  • NPSTC working directly with sister PS
    organization in Canada on common issues (under
    guidance of DOS and FCC)

23
24
Conclusion
  • Resolution of border issues is essential for
    national security
  • Seamless interoperability across borders
  • Several additional bilateral agreements to share
    or coordinate use of spectrum are needed
  • In the new agreements spectrum should be
    distributed equitably and procedures for
    coordination streamlined
  • Interference resolution procedures similar to
    those used with Mexico are needed for Canada

24
25
John PowellInteroperability
26
Channel Naming
  • Background
  • Initially an NCC Interoperability Committee
    recommendation that was approved by the NCC and
    forwarded to the FCC, but FCC refused to require
    it
  • Resurrected by NPSTC in 2006, with drivers being
    Katrina and Wildland fires
  • Plan developed, nationally circulated, and
    revised on 5 Feb 2007 in Orlando
  • Nationally vetted for 90 days, revised and
    adopted by NPSTC Governing Board in June, 2007.

27
Channel Naming
  • New 700 MHz Channel Plan Overview
  • Has a placeholder for Federal interoperability
    channels managed by NTIA
  • Notes that there may be changes to the 700 MHz
    interoperability channels
  • Recent FCC action that consolidated the
    narrowband voice blocks
  • Petition submitted by NPSTC to modify 700 MHz
    interoperability/itinerant channel use
  • One National Calling channel
  • Voice secondary on one data channel
  • Deployable trunked infrastructure
  • Increased power on itinerant (analog) channels

28
Channel Naming
  • Also included in NPSTC Report
  • Standardized tone squelch (156.7 Hz)
  • Standardized digital NAC (293)
  • Recommended subscriber channel configurations
  • Costs associated with changing to the recommended
    standard
  • Timeline for implementation, noting least/no cost
    options for updating programming

29
Channel Naming
  • Naming structure BtypeM
  • B Band L,V,U,7,8
  • Type CALL, DATA, FIRE, GTAC, LAW, MED,
    MOB, TAC
  • A unique number from 01-99 that also
    identifies the band
  • M Modifier D for direct or talkaround
    (simplex on output of pair)

30
Channel Naming
  • Recent changes
  • Modifications to account for 800 MHz displays
    with fewer characters
  • CAL90, TAC91, TAC92, TAC93, TAC94
  • ANSI standardization
  • APCO, an ANSI-accredited Standards Definition
    Organization, will be the lead in partnership
    with other NPSTC Governing Board organizations to
    standardize this system.

31
Channel Naming
  • What is coming in the future?
  • Plan has now been adopted by a number of states
  • Example California, where use of the names per
    associated timeline is a condition of eligibility
    to use SIEC-managed interoperability channels
  • Once plan is ANSI-certified, will be returned to
    the FCC as a Petition for Rulemaking
  • Katrina and 9-11 Commission Reports noted lack of
    standardized interoperability channel naming as a
    major issue
  • ANSI certification carries significant weight

32
Statewide Planning
  • Background
  • All 57 states and territories submitted their
    SCIPS by the 3 Dec 2007 deadline
  • SCIPS and PSIC Investment Justifications are in
    final SME review at DHS
  • Quality and substance of plans varied widely
    across the country
  • It is clear that some states did not understand
    that the SCIPs required local input and approval,
    and were not a state plan, rather a statewide
    plan stay tuned!

33
Statewide Planning
  • National Interoperability Information eXchange
    (NIIX)

34
Hot Off the Press
  • Communications Unit Work Group
  • NIIX Community
  • Summary from Seattle meeting
  • COML Course Curriculum
  • Communications Unit Awareness Class
  • Delivery Schedule
  • Statewide Plan (SCIP) Review

35
Plain Talk
  • Background
  • Aural Brevity Codes (10/11/900/Q codes)
  • Not an easy change since plain text replacement
    language needs to be standardized, too
  • Recent activity State of Virginia
  • SAFECOM Initiatives
  • Plain Language Brochure
  • Where is this going?
  • Publication, and potential eventual online
    SAFECOM tool to assist with transition

36
How Can You Have A Voice In NPSTC?
  • Come to NPSTCs quarterly meetings and have a
    voice in this important work.
  • Participate in quarterly NPSTC meetings via
    conference call.
  • Join a Committee or Working Group and participate
    in their working conference calls.
  • Join NPSTCs listservs and stay abreast of issues
    and activities.
  • Remain current with the postings, publications
    and other resources on the website at
    www.NPSTC.org

36
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