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NPSTC: Cross Border Communications Are Greatly Enhanced by Bi-National Agreements

Date: 2016-09-21
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Cross border public safety communications is a complex issue that affects all first responder organizations, which operate near the U.S. and Canadian border. Fire departments and EMS organizations are frequently asked to cross the national border to render aid. They may be the primary agency assigned to respond to an emergency across the border, or they may be supporting a local agency that needs additional assistance. 

From Left:  Chief Douglas Aiken [ret.], Vice Chair, NPSTC Governing Board; Admiral David Simpson, Chief, FCC PSHSB; Chief John Lenihan, Chair, NPSTC Interoperability Committee.

On June 30, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and  Canada's Innovation Science and Economic Development (ISED) jointly released documents that enhance cross border communications. The FCC Public Notice provides guidance to U.S. public safety licensees seeking to: (1) roam into Canada; (2) communicate from the U.S. through base station repeaters in Canada; or (3) host Canadian licensees seeking to communicate through base station repeaters in the U.S.

The organizations of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) are grateful for the hard work of the officials with the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB), who have worked with Canadian officials for several years to create workable solutions for first responders.

This is excellent news for public safety on both sides of the border. The continuing efforts of NPSTC and CITIG [Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group], supported by OEC and the Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC), will enhance public safety interoperability in a very tangible manner. 

- People, Places & Things/9-1-1magazine.com (via NPSTC, 9/15/16)

 

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