September 2, 2010 - 10:27 am

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Earlier this week, the FCC marked the achievement of another significant milestone in the implementation of the National Broadband Plan’s recommendations for the deployment of a nationwide interoperable wireless broadband network for our Nation’s first responders by calling for public safety officials and others in the public to serve on a advisory committee that will make recommendations to the Commission as it develops the technical framework for the network (see public notice seeking nominations). Over the past year we’ve met with public safety officials, lawmakers, government partners, and the communications industry with one goal in mind – deployment of a cutting-edge interoperable broadband network for America’s first responders, hospitals and other public safety officials. Teamwork among all interested parties is the best formula for one day making this network a reality.

Nominations for membership on the Emergency Response Interoperability Center Public Safety Advisory Committee are welcome and may be submitted through September 17, 2010. The establishment of this Federal advisory committee continues the Commission’s ongoing dialogue with public safety as the Commission develops a framework for nationwide interoperability and expands this dialogue by including members from a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the public safety community, such as representatives of state and local public safety agencies, public safety trade associations, federal user groups, and other segments of the public safety community, as well as service providers, equipment vendors and other industry segments involved in public safety.

The purpose of this Committee is to make recommendations to the Commission in the development of a technical framework and requirements for interoperability in order to ensure that the public safety wireless broadband network is interoperable on a nationwide basis. Among the challenging issues we face and the Committee will address are the adoption of technical and operational requirements and procedures to ensure a nationwide level of interoperability the adoption and implementation of requirements and procedures to address operability, roaming, priority access, gateway functions and interfaces, the interconnectivity of public safety broadband networks, and the adoption of authentication and encryption requirements for common public safety broadband applications and network use.

Tragedies in our recent National history have painfully demonstrated the need for a nationwide interoperable wireless broadband network for public safety. We are committed to bringing this cutting-edge mobile broadband network to America’s first responders. The chartering of this advisory committee and the seating of its members provides an invaluable resource to inform the Commission’s deliberations and brings us one step closer as a Nation to achieving interoperable public safety broadband communications throughout America.