Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Comments Sought for Draft Channel Naming Standards

Here is the APCO pdf document with a complete list of interop freqs and the proposed new desigs. This is a must download for active public safety scanner monitors.

2009 Oct 20

Alexandria, Va. - The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International and the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) released for comments a candidate American National Standard (ANS) to ensure national consistency of interoperability on related radio channels. The proposed Standard Channel Nomenclature for Public Safety Interoperability Channels provides a standardized naming format for each Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated Interoperability Channel in Public Safety Radio Services.

“The public safety community uses 700 MHz spectrum allocated by the FCC that is replete with interoperability channels,” APCO International Executive Director George Rice said. “It is necessary to develop and employ a common set of channel names. It is crucial that all responders to an incident know which channel to tune their radios to, as well as the band and primary use for the channel.”

NPSTC Chair Ralph A. Haller said that he was pleased to see such a positive step forward in interoperability saying, “Common interoperability channel names will help to assure that any organization responding to an emergency will be able to establish contact immediately when arriving on scene. Although the specific channel names were initially controversial, the proposed standard represents the collective efforts of public safety agencies across the country to reach consensus. NPSTC is pleased to have been instrumental in this process."

The issue of common channel naming has been on the forefront since the mid-1980s and was again highlighted during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina. In 2006, NPSTC reviewed and updated the Standard Channel Nomenclature recommended in the 700 MHz National Coordination Committee’s Final Report. This new protocol has been widely adopted across the country in the intervening period, and requests to the federal government resulted in finalizing standard names for similar channels in federal agency spectrum earlier this year.

APCO International is the recognized American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited Standards Developer for public safety communications standards and was selected to facilitate the most recent version of the Standard Channel Nomenclature document through the ANSI standardization process, moving one step closer to completion of National Emergency Communications Plan milestone 3.1.33.

There is a 45-day public review and comment period for this standard that ends on November 30. The Candidate ANS can be downloaded at . To submit comments or questions prior to the deadline, e-mail .