MHz Update April 2009: FCC invites nominees for CSRIC

The PoliceOne MHz Update provides a quick look into what’s current in mobile communications and computing for LE.

The technology that supports critical public safety communications—everything from the radio calls cops answer thousands of times a day to the one-in-a-million transmission of a single word or phrase that alerts police to a possible terror threat—is evolving at an ever-increasing rate.

While every decade in the past century has seen dramatic advances in technology that facilities the free-flow of information to cops on the streets, the final year of this decade promises to be one of the busiest in history. From cellular broadband to municipal WiFi, from the 700MHz re-auction to 800MHz re-banding, from advances in devices and software to an economy that challenges agencies to pay for them... These are but a few of the critical issues facing public safety decision-makers and police officers across the country.

The PoliceOne MHz Update provides a quick look into what’s current in mobile communications and computing for law enforcement. Today we examine some of the latest news in mobile data networks as well as a handful of issues that have come to the fore lately, but what follows is far from a complete list. What do you think are the most important problems (or solutions) for mobility in Law Enforcement?

Add your comments below or send us an E-mail.

FCC invites nominees for advisory board on public safety mobile communications
The Federal Communications Commission is seeking nominations “and expressions of interest” for membership on the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC). This group provides guidance and expertise on the nation's communication infrastructure and public safety communications. More specifically, the purpose of the CSRIC is to provide recommendations to the FCC to ensure optimal security, reliability, operability, and interoperability of public safety communications systems, including public safety, telecommunications, and media communications systems.

Late last month, the FCC renewed the charter for the CSRIC for a period of two years (through March 18, 2011) and issued a notice that invited nominations for membership in the CSRIC.  Those nominations must be submitted to the FCC no later than May 11, 2009.

Under its FCC charter, the CSRIC may make recommendations about security, reliability, operability, and interoperability of public safety communications systems as well as steps the FCC can take to improve the reliability and resiliency of communications infrastructure. Among the numerous other areas in which the CSRIC will likely have an impact on law enforcement communications and mobile data-sharing is the fact that the FCC will look to this entity for recommendations to improve the collaboration between communications service providers and public safety entities during emergencies.

The FCC wants to populate the CSRIC with individuals from public safety agencies, consumer or community organizations or other nonprofit entities, and the private sector. The rational given by the FCC is “to balance the expertise and viewpoints that are necessary to effectively address the issues to be considered.”

The FCC is particularly interested in hearing from individuals and organizations in the following categories:

• Public safety agencies and/or organizations as well as other state, tribal and/or local government agencies and/or organizations with expertise in communications issues;
• Federal government agencies with expertise in communications and/or homeland security issues;
• Communications service providers, including wireline and wireless communications service providers, broadcast radio and television licensees, cable television operators and other multichannel video programming distributors, satellite communications service providers, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol and other IP enabled service providers;
• Consumer or community organizations, such as those representing people with disabilities, the elderly and those living in rural areas; and
• Qualified representatives of other stakeholders and interested parties with relevant expertise.

There is no specific nomination form but each nominee must include their name, title and organization, as well as a description of the sector or interest the nominee will represent; the nominee's mailing address, email address, telephone number, and fax number; and a summary of the nominee's qualifications to be appointed to the CSRIC.

For further information please contact Lisa M. Fowlkes, Deputy Chief, Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau, (202) 4187452 (voice) or (email) or Jeffery Goldthorp, Chief, Communications Systems Analysis Division, Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau, (202) 4181096 (voice) or (email).

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