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Are You Ready to Help Improve NG911?

Volunteers Needed - iCERT Membership NOT Required (upon approval)

April 6, 2020

Call for volunteers

Want to make a difference? Ready for a new challenge? Looking to broaden your career experiences? Here is an opportunity to do all of that while helping public safety / NG911.

iCERT has been elected to a seat on the newly formed independent NG911 Interoperability Commission (N9OC) (initiated by NENA). The N9OC has been formed expressly to help NG911 systems move forward by removing interoperability and related roadblocks. Commission Members have the opportunity to make dramatic permanent improvements to 911/NG911 and the entire public safety ecosystem. It is important work, and iCERT is proud to have been elected as a central contributor to this effort.

To provide the highest quality input for our N9OC representation, iCERT's Public Safety Communications Interoperability Working Group is looking for additional volunteers to assist on two subcommittees: PCA subgroup and Forest Guide subgroup. In addition, the NG9-1-1 Conformance Testing subgroup continues its work and requires additional volunteers.

The PCA and Forrest Guide subgroups are intended to broaden the perspectives of the Public Safety Communications Interoperability Working Group and assist with the development of recommendations/instructions given to the iCERT representative on N9OC. Recommendations/instructions could relate to all matters before N9OC, but will initially be focused on two NENA initiatives; the PCA and Forest Guide.

The NG9-1-1 Conformance Testing subgroup will continue to Investigate and pursue the establishment of a NG9-1-1 Conformance testing program that meets the needs of iCERT's members through a collaboration with other Industry Associations and stakeholders

Volunteers for all three subgroups should, ideally, possess both business acumen and/or technical expertise in the areas of PCA, Forest Guide, Emergency call Handling and/or NG Core Services and conformance testing. This an excellent opportunity to expand your professional network, make an important contribution to public safety, and expand your technical expertise.

Don't wait - reach out today - make a difference. Join us.....


April 17, 2020

NG9-1-1 Interoperability Oversight Commission Approves RFP Award for PKI Operations & PCA

From: NENA

The NG9-1-1 Interoperability Oversight Commission (NIOC) is proud to announce an RFP award to tech companies Eonti and DigiCert to operate the PSAP Credentialing Agency (PCA). This is a key element in building greater trust and interoperability in Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems. The award is a significant milestone in establishing a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for NG9-1-1, as required by the prevailing standards for NG9-1-1 and recommended by other leading groups including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Task Force on Optimal PSAP Architecture (TFOPA).

“On behalf of the NIOC Commissioners, we all recognize — and are excited for — another monumental step in the evolution of Next Generation 9-1-1.” says NIOC Chair Rick Blackwell, ENP, E9-1-1 Director for Greenville County, South Carolina. “Having a PSAP Credentialing Authority in place is the culmination of years of hard work by so many at NENA, including the Board of Directors, staff, Development Steering Council, and all the volunteers who contributed to the organization’s working groups.”

The NIOC is now entering contract deliberations with Eonti and DigiCert, with a goal of entering production of the NG9-1-1 PKI in 2020.

NENA staff, in response to broad industry recommendations to establish a PKI for NG9-1-1, initiated a competitive, sealed-bid Request for Proposals (RFP) to operate the PCA, which is the root of trust for the NG9-1-1 PKI. To review the responses, NENA assembled a committee of volunteers including public- and private-sector representatives. This committee then reviewed the proposals according to best practices and selected the vendors.

Every PKI requires an independent governance structure. For the NG9-1-1 PKI, that is NIOC. NIOC was convened in March 2020 and began doing official business in April 2020. One its first orders of business was to review and approve the RFP process executed by NENA and the review committee. NIOC reviewed several hundred pages of documentation, including scoring of vendor proposals, the original RFP itself, Q&A between NENA and vendors and a summary report prepared by NENA staff. NIOC reaffirmed the vendor selection on April 15, 2020, concluding that NENA and the review committee conducted the procurement appropriately and selected the best available vendor, and NIOC voted to approve an award to Eonti and DigiCert. Additionally, NIOC voted to make this award public information.

A PKI is a system of policies, procedures and technologies to establish a chain of trust among users based on security certificates. This is a common approach used in many critical infrastructure industries. In building a model for a PKI for NG9-1-1, the NIOC and NENA looked to other telecommunications and public safety approaches including those taken by SHAKEN/STIR, state and Federal Government and local Councils of Government (COGs). Learn more about how a PKI works in this informational video from NENA.

The NG9-1-1 Interoperability Oversight Commission (NIOC) is the independent oversight body for standards-driven interoperability programs for NG9-1-1. NIOC consists of stakeholders from the public and private sectors that are affected by these programs. More information is available here.

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