Edited Version July 28, 1999 Transcript
EIIP Tech Arena Online Presentation

"The Public Safety Wireless Network"

Rick Murphy
Program Manager

[Note: Due to a problem at the server, a transcript of this session is not available. The following has been reconstructed.]


Amy Sebring: Welcome to the EIIP Tech Arena! (or in this case, the Lobby!)

For the benefit of our first-timers, when you see a blue web address, you can click on it and the referenced Web page should appear in a browser window. After the first one, the browser window may not automatically come to the top, so you may need to bring it forward by clicking on a button at the status bar at the bottom of your screen.

We will start with a presentation, and then follow with a Q&A session for your questions and comments. Right before we begin the Q&A portion we will review the procedure. Please do NOT send direct messages to the speaker or moderator as it makes it difficult for us to follow the discussion.

Background information for today's session may be found at http://www.emforum.org/varena/990728.htm ...

Today we are pleased to welcome Rick Murphy, Project Manager for the Public Safety Wireless Network project. Rick also works for the Treasury Department, and has an extensive technical background.

Most of us are too keenly aware of the problems caused by different agencies on different mobile radio systems. The Public Safety Wireless Network project is working on just this situation, and Rick is here to tell us about it. Welcome Rick. Thank you for joining us today.


Rick Murphy: The Public Safety Wireless Network (PSWN) Program, a jointly sponsored endeavor between the Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury, was created in 1996 through Vice President Al Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government.

PSWN Program Vision And Mission: A Shared Vision: Seamless, coordinated, and integrated public safety communications for the safe, effective, and efficient protection of life and property. The vision of improved communications is shared with public safety organizations. These organizations include local, state, and federal agencies whose missions encompass the protection of life and property.

A Compelling Mission: To plan for and foster interoperability among wireless networks that meets the requirements of local, state, and federal public safety organizations. The challenges are to make the public safety communications more effective, efficient, and cost effective.

To Achieve Interoperability: Communications links that permit persons from two or more different public safety agencies to interact with one another and to exchange information according to a prescribed method in order to achieve predictable results. Improving interoperability and public safety communications as a whole is a multi-dimensional challenge. These dimensions are: spectrum, funding, technology, organization, and operations.

The program is responsible for encouraging interoperability among wireless networks so that local, state, and federal public safety requirements can be addressed.

Specifically, the program attempts to:

• Improve the coordination of public safety wireless communications

• Foster actions for adequate radio frequency spectrum for public safety agencies

• Support the development of technical standards for public safety wireless communications systems

• Promote the inclusion of security measures in public safety wireless communications systems

• Identify alternative funding mechanisms for local, state, and federal public safety agencies to improve their wireless communications systems.

During its initial three years, the PSWN program has promoted partnerships among public safety agencies and has pursued case studies and pilot projects, analytical studies, and outreach efforts.

Examples of these activities include:

• Hosting regional shared systems symposiums that bring together local, state, and federal public safety agencies to share information on wide-ranging issues such as regional planning, site acquisition, funding, and systems planning

• Providing input to FCC filings to better position public safety agencies to participate in shared systems and improve communications between local, state, and federal public safety agencies

• Developing "how to" guides on local, state, and federal spectrum management processes to assist radio managers in navigating frequency assignment procedures

• Conducting regional needs analyses that characterize mission requirements, determine a baseline of current radio systems infrastructure, and identify opportunities to improve system efficiency

• Evaluating and profiling commercial services to project how these services are likely to be deployed by public safety agencies and the implications for public safety operations

• Partnering with state and local agencies to establish pilot implementations of interoperable radio architectures in multiple regions of the country

• Participating in the test and demonstration of wireless data communications such as the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) 2000 wireless testbed

• Investigating security issues to understand and address the vulnerabilities and risks associated with evolving land mobile radio systems

• Profiling current funding mechanisms and suggesting alternative strategies to receive the requisite funding to replace or upgrade public safety communications systems

• Participating in a federal interagency group that developed a recommendation for a planning and demonstration grant program for statewide public safety radio systems development efforts.

I wish to thank Amy for this opportunity to participate in this forum and now I turn the session over to Amy for Q&A.

Amy Sebring: Thank you very much Rick, I am sure we will have a few questions ...

[Q&A discussion ensued, including further information about the status of the grant recommendation, FCC NCC Committee recommendation on national standards, comment period on public safety frequency, etc.]

Thank you very much for being with us today Rick, we hoped you enjoyed it, and we will continue to watch for further developments.

Thank you audience. We will adjourn for now, but you are invited to remain for open discussion.