Updated: Jul 1, 2020
PCA and Forrest Guide Oversight
April 1, 2020
NG9-1-1 Interoperability Oversight Commission (N9OC) Established
Stakeholders in the 9-1-1 system this week launched an independent body to achieve greater trust and interoperability in Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems: the NG911 Interoperability Oversight Commission (N9OC), whose mission will be overseeing key programs related to interoperability in NG9-1-1, including the PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) Credentialing Agency (PCA) and the NG9-1-1 Forest Guide.
These programs are required in standards promulgated by NENA and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to promote security and interoperability for NG9-1-1, as well as discoverability and fallback for routing queries.
The N9OC has been set up to be fully independent. No one but the group’s board may may compel it to do anything, and stakeholders may only make recommendations and requests. N9OC has the power to hire its own staff, manage its own finances, and approve any contracts to deliver the interoperability services under its purview. The N9OC is forbidden from earning a profit or having positive revenue; it may only recover the minimum costs it incurs in operating its interoperability resources. N9OC commissioners serve on a purely voluntary basis and are not paid. N9OC conducted its first order of business on March 25, agreeing to arrange its first meeting to select a chair.
N9OC’s bylaws require a diverse membership representing public and private stakeholders across North America, with the possibility of future expansion internationally by amending the bylaws. After renewing nominations and applications from a wide variety of stakeholder interests, the following individuals were elected to sit on N9OC, with staggered term lengths of two to three years:
On behalf of the president of the NENA Board, Mr. Dave Sehnert, director of innovation and integration at Mission Critical Partners in Port Matilda, Pennsylvania, was nominated by affirmative vote by the NENA Board.
On behalf of the NENA Development Steering Council (DSC), Mr. Rick Blackwell, director of the Greenville County Office of 9-1-1 in South Carolina, was nominated by an affirmative vote of the DSC.
On behalf of the NENA 9-1-1 Core Services Committee (911CSC), Mr. Steve O’Conor, senior consultant at Next Generation 9-1-1 Consulting Services in Melbourne, Florida, was nominated by affirmative vote of 911CSC.
To fill the slot for one member representing a U.S. state, provincial, or national non-U.S. 9-1-1 authority with responsibility for operating an NG9-1-1 network, Ms. Maria Jacques, 9-1-1 Director of the state of Maine, was nominated by the National Association of State 9-1-1 Administrators (NASNA).
To fill the slot for one member representing local or regional 9-1-1 authority with responsibility for operating an NG9-1-1 network within a region smaller than a U.S. state or province, such as a county, metropolitan area or a council of governments, Mr. Steve McMurrer, 9-1-1 Systems Administrator of Fairfax County, Virginia, was nominated by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.
To fill the slot for one member representing commercial provider of NG9-1-1 core services, Mr. Doug Cunningham, Sales Engineer II with CenturyLink, was nominated by CenturyLink’s executive team.
To fill the slot for one member representing commercial providers of NG9-1-1 end-user products, Mr. Jeff Wittek, Director of Strategy at Motorola, was nominated by the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT).
To fill the slot for one member representing organizations with a direct responsibility for handling 9-1-1 emergency calls, Ms. Darlene Pankonie, Communications Division Manager at Washington County Sheriff's Office in Washington County, Minnesota, was nominated by the Minnesota Metropolitan Emergency Services Board (MESB).
To fill the slot for one member representing an elected official who does not directly represent a public safety agency but has oversight of 9-1-1 services, Ms. Irene Fernando, a county Commissioner in Hennepin County Minnesota.
To fill the slot for one member representing public safety associations not otherwise represented by another member, Mr. Kris Zuniga of Kings County, California was nominated by the California State Sheriff’s Association.
In addition to the commissioners, delegates from the NENA staff office, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. 9-1-1 Program Office and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission are invited to participate in the group’s meetings, make motions, offer new business, and speak in debate, but they cannot vote.
NOMINATIONS DUE FEBRUARY 24, 2020
NENA is pleased to announce the creation of the NG9-1-1 Interoperability Oversight Commission, an independent body to encourage greater interoperability in Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems. The commission will oversee the PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) Credentialing Agency (PCA) and the NG9-1-1 Forest Guide, among others. 9-1-1 community members interested in volunteering can find submission instructions by visiting this link.
NENA Welcomes Establishment of NG9-1-1 Interoperability Oversight Commission
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
The nation’s leading 9-1-1 organization is welcoming the establishment of an independent body to encourage greater interoperability in Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems.
Together with other stakeholders, the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) will participate in the new NG9-1-1 Interoperability Oversight Commission, an independent body that will oversee key programs related to interoperability in NG9-1-1, including the PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) Credentialing Agency (PCA) and the NG9-1-1 Forest Guide.
The PCA will address the need for Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to manage secure credentials within the 9-1-1 industry. A PKI is a set of policies and certificate-issuing bodies that cooperate in establishing trust so that entities in a sensitive industry can communicate securely. The PCA is a root Certificate Authority (CA) that sits at the root of the NG9-1-1 PKI. This is the same model used by the STIR/SHAKEN system to authenticate telephone calls, and also used by the global aerospace industry, the United States cable television industry, the U.S. Federal Government and others. The PKI is required to be established under standards developed for NG9-1-1, such as the NENA i3 core services standard.
The Forest Guide is another service required by the major standards for NG9-1-1, including work published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and NENA, to help with location-based routing when the local system can’t find a destination. In NG9-1-1, a caller’s location is typically used for location-based routing to connect a caller with the correct Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). When the local system fails to find the right PSAP for a call, it will query the Forest Guide for help. Current standards envision one Forest Guide will exist for each large region, such as United States or Canada. The Federal Communications Commission’s Task Force on Optimal PSAP Architecture (TFOPA) has also called for a Forest Guide for the United States, with independent governance.
These new services are critically important and will require ongoing, stakeholder-driven oversight, which will be provided by the NG9-1-1 Interoperability Oversight Commission. The commission will oversee the development and operation of both services, including budgets, policies, management procedures and any fees. Seats on the commission will reflect all affected stakeholders, including 9-1-1 authorities, commercial providers, standards development groups, elected officials and 9-1-1 operators.
“This is a landmark moment for public safety,” said Brandon Abley, Technical Issues Director for NENA. “The PCA and Forest Guide are critically important services, and the Commission will make sure stakeholders can trust how they are operated. NENA will have no direct control over these entities, allowing for fully independent oversight. We’re following the exact same model used in other critical industries.”