The PSBN Innovation Alliance (PIA) is pleased to announce that they have been named an Associate Member of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC).

NPSTC is a North American federation of public safety organizations, whose mission is to improve public safety communications and interoperability through collaborative leadership. NPSTC combines the many voices of its member organizations to enhance the power of public safety's voice.  They monitor and study public policy and submit comments to governmental organizations on behalf of public safety and work to make sure public safety has the spectrum needed to communicate in life-threatening situations without interference and explore technology, standards, and interoperable communications solutions.

The PSBN Innovation Alliance is the sole Canadian AssociateMember of NPSTC. The PIA will represent and contribute Canadian views to the NPSTC Board to enhance disaster preparedness and cross-border interoperability for 911 emergencies and international disaster response.

“NPSTC is pleased to welcome the PSBN Innovation Alliance to its fold,” said Ralph Haller, NPSTC Chair. “Cross-border cooperation is essential to seamless communications along the border and general interoperability between both countries. To the extent that standards are identical, it can increase the market for new equipment and provide a better selection of products at lower costs. The needs of the public safety community are always changing and pooling of knowledge between the counties can help keep us on the cutting edge of new technology. We look forward to a long relationship with the Alliance.”

The PSBN Innovation Alliance is dedicated to one of its fundamental core tenets of ensuring that public safety and critical infrastructure partners have access to resilient, reliable and interoperable data communications when it is needed the most. Today, data communication is as important as voice communication, and in working with our NPSTC counterparts, we have an opportunity to further enhance our collective vision, which includes the critical need for seamless interoperability, through a collaborative partnership,” said Peel Regional Police Deputy Chief Anthony Odoardi.

“The relationship between the PSBN Innovation Alliance and NPSTC establishes a foundation on which we are able to effectively collaborate and coordinate to ensure better outcomes for disasters, when, not if, they strike,” said Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police Executive Director Jeff McGuire. “We are grateful for the opportunity to foster relationships with sister organizations such as NPSTC that value the security and resilience of strong linkages across Canadian and U.S. Public Safety Broadband Networks.”

 

Background – PSBN Innovation Alliance

Formed in mid-2019, the PSBN Innovation Alliance (“PIA”) is a not-for-profit association driving the development of secure, reliable data communications for First Responders.

Through the leadership of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police, founding members of the PSBN Innovation Alliance (the Halton Regional Police Service, Peel Regional Police, City of Mississauga, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, and many others) work together as a not-for-profit entity advocating for public safety agency oversight of the Public Safety Broadband Network. Peel Regional Police Deputy Chief Anthony Odoardi is the Managing Director of the PSBN Innovation Alliance.

With a rapidly expanding membership of over 45 public and private partnership agencies, including first responders, critical infrastructure organizations, transit companies, and high-tech companies, the PIA is leading the way in shaping the Canadian governance framework required to successfully operationalize RF spectrum set aside for public safety, and continues to advocate for telecom policy that fosters the establishment of “always-available” mobile communications for Emergency Responders in support of their lifesaving mission.

The PIA’s vision for effective Public Safety communications stems from a desire “To ensure Public Safety agency oversight and collaboration on strategic direction, initiatives, and operations surrounding a shared Municipal Public Safety LTE Core.”

Background – Public Safety Broadband Network

Public safety communications needs have seen a rapid evolution and operational revolution in the past decade, with significant increases in the reliance on broadband data as a part of daily 911 emergency services. In fact, in our collective experience providing 911 emergency services, we know that data has become as important to 911 operations as voice communications. From text messages and data files, to video and photos, through to new applications that provide for better field efficiency and coordination in their lifesaving mission to society – emergency responders require reliable access to data during the minutes and seconds that can make the difference between life and death.

Public safety agencies need telecom services that resiliently survive all manner of disasters - both human-made and natural - and the ability for communications to survive in the face of new modern issues, such as Cybersecurity attacks. Effective wireless data service is critical to effective emergency response, and in turn, to saving lives. Unfortunately, commercial broadband services around the world have been shown to provide a level or resiliency and reliability below the threshold required by first responders and critical infrastructure entities during times of need.

A Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN) is a secure, high-speed, wireless broadband communications network that provides prioritized and exclusive access to wireless data for first responders and commercial critical infrastructure entities that underpin our modern digital society (e.g. electric utilities, rail and transportation networks, transit systems, energy, potable water control systems, airports, naval ports and more).

A PSBN encompasses the 4G and 5G wireless infrastructure, wireless spectrum, user gear and associated systems that provide for a mission critical grade of data delivery so that first responders have access to critical data in moments of need – whenever and wherever they roam across Canada in their lifesaving efforts.

A PSBN is an important step in securing the telecommunications infrastructure for Canada – at an optimal cost point – and in extending digital connectivity to underserved urban, rural, First Nations and remote areas and communities, to enable access to first responder emergency services and critical infrastructure partners. It is well-recognized that the chronic network coverage challenges and gaps remain in rural, remote, northern and Indigenous communities, and that emergency events know no geographical boundaries. A PSBN can help foster bridging of this rural broadband divide where the current business case for commercial coverage is thin.

First responders depend on digital data to protect Canadians and improve the operational efficiency and effectiveness of day-to-day mission critical operations and 911 response to emergencies. The reliable, resilient and cyber-secure delivery of digital data to first responders has become as important as traditional voice communications for effective frontline emergency response.  A broadband system is needed that provides the same degree of resiliency and robustness as legacy two-way land mobile radio systems used by first responders today.

Media Inquiries:

Jennifer Hartman

Manager, Corporate Communications
Halton Regional Police Service
905-825-4777 ext. 4904
jennifer.hartman@haltonpolice.ca