iCERT’s Board of Directors recently approved the 2022 Policy Platform, renewing the association’s commitment to advance State and Federal policies that promote widespread adoption of advanced technologies and standards that improve emergency response and increase the public’s safety. Critical to achieving this goal is iCERT’s strong support for open standards and interoperability of all components of the emergency response ecosystem. This commitment to interoperability was a principal theme of iCERT’s Annual Members Meeting held in December 2021. At the meeting, representatives from iCERT’s Public Safety Communications Interoperability Work Group (PSCIWG) described the group’s efforts in 2021 to promote interoperability between Next Generation 911 (NG911) systems and between NG911 systems and broadband networks used by first responders. To advance NG911 interoperability, iCERT and its company representatives worked with the NENA Industry Collaboration Events Steering Committee and the NG911 Interoperability Oversight Commission (NIOC) to advance initiatives that will promote interoperability.
The PSCIWG also worked closely this year with the Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology Directorate, and a variety of Public Safety stakeholders, to advance an NG911 testing program that would promote interoperability across emergency response systems. iCERT made various recommendations to DHS during the program’s design phase, and it looks forward to supporting the implementation of a program consistent with the recommendations. Any program should address conformance to applicable standards, be cost-effective, and ensure small companies, as well as large companies, are able to participate equitably.
In 2022, the PSCIWG will again lead iCERT’s efforts in this area, while also expanding its focus to address interoperability in other areas including CAD-to-CAD and integration of LMR and LTE. iCERT’s overarching goal is to increase the adoption of technologies that improve emergency response and public safety communications, and interoperability is critical to achieving that goal.