Public Safety Interoperable Communications: Pulling the trigger

The Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) program has been attracting a great deal of interest since the beginning of the year, and rightly so. It represents the most significant single-year financial commitment of the federal government to first responder interoperability and it is a one-time opportunity with no immediate plans for renewal in the coming years.

Despite its prominence, though, many elements of the program have yet to be defined, including the technologies that will be funded, the guidance that will be provided to states passing on the funds and the administrative roles of the federal agencies participating in the program. Todd Sedmak, communications director for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the arm of the Department of Commerce with statutory authority to administer the program, observed, “It’s definitely a fluid time right now.”

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About the author

Michael Paddock serves both as Chief Executive Officer of Grants Office, a national grant development services firm, and as Grants Columnist for the award-winning HSToday magazine. In his role at Grants Office, Mr. Paddock consults with dozens of state and local governments and international agencies on homeland security funding. He contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, and he is a featured speaker at many national conferences specializing in homeland security. Mr. Paddock served from 1996-2001 on the US Interagency Electronic Grants Committee and co-founded the New York State E-grants Project in 1999. His article “Funding the First 72 Hours” was recently accepted as a reference within the National Blueprint for Secure Communities, a joint project of the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

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