FCC Schedules Emergency Coordination Forum

WASHINGTON: The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau will hold a public forum to discuss “the creation of an emergency response interoperability center for public safety broadband communications,” the agency said. The gathering is scheduled for Feb. 10, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the commission meeting room at FCC headquarters. The event is considered part of the FCC’s proceeding on a National Broadband Plan. The proceeding identified a need for public safety entities to work together on an interoperable broadband structure.

“The forum will examine ways in which this could be achieved,” the FCC said. The commission is considering creating an emergency response center that would develop common standards and interoperability among all public safety groups authorized to use the nationwide, wireless broadband network now in the conception stage. The center would also address interoperability disputes, determine standards for participation by commercial wireless providers and outline a framework for gateway functionality and interface capabilities.

“Discussions will focus on how the interoperability center should be structured, what its role should be and how it can accomplish critical tasks such as establishing a public safety interoperability profile, interoperability standards, authentication, encryption, roaming, priority access, application uses and interconnectivity,” the FCC said.

The forum will be open to the public, with admittance limited to available seating. Individuals who are interested in attending the forum may pre-register online at http://www.fcc.gov/pshs/event-registration.html. Individuals may also contact Deandrea Wilson at 202-418-0703 regarding pre-registration. The pre-registration deadline is Monday, Feb. 8, 2010. The forum also will be streamed live at www.fcc.gov/realaudio.