Friday, June 23, 2006

Senate committee seeks acceleration of interoperability funds: "Senate Commerce Committee members yesterday decided by voice vote to approve an amendment to the massive communications bill making $1 billion in interoperability funds available to first-responder agencies this fall."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

OASIS approves new standards for emergency communications: "The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) has approved new emergency data interoperability standards aimed at drastically improving critical data sharing among emergency first responders, government officials and law enforcement authorities. In an announcement [yesterday], OASIS said the new Emergency Data Exchange Language Distribution Element (EDXL-DE) Version 1.0 has been approved as an OASIS Standard. That means it will now be used by emergency management systems vendors to help create data bridges among incompatible systems used by first responders and others."
Project MESA back on track: "Project MESA, or Mobility for Emergency and Safety Applications, finally received the vendor support it has been seeking the last four years. A Project MESA working group meeting in Boston in April resulted in five new proposals brought forth by manufacturers as potential technologies for the next generation of public-safety communications systems."
Roadblocks hamper emergency response system coordination: "Achieving interoperable communications — a Holy Grail of sorts for first responders — is easier said than done. That was the consensus of information technology experts who met earlier this month in Washington, D.C., for the National Association of State Chief Information Officers’ midyear conference. Participants in a panel discussion said progress has been slow and erratic."
IWN Update: "“By providing near-instant communication availability and system response, highly reliable communications, and physical and encryption security features that minimize interception of sensitive communications, IWN will make law enforcement and protective operations more effective, efficient and safe,” said Justice CIO Vance Hitch in a statement.

IWN spending could range from $3 billion to $30 billion over the life of the contract, which could extend as long as 15 years."

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Unofficial poll of CIOs finds states woefully behind: "Government interoperability and disaster preparedness experts painted a bleak picture of how much progress states have made toward communications interoperability since Hurricane Katrina blasted the Gulf Coast last year. Fewer than a third of the 350 attendees of a National Association of State Chief Information Officers conference this month said states were better prepared today to deal with a major disaster than they were before Katrina. "

Monday, June 12, 2006

General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin Awarded Phase Two Contracts for Integrated Wireless Network (IWN): "The Departments of Justice, Homeland Security and the Treasury announced today the award of second-phase system integration contracts for the Integrated Wireless Network (IWN) to General Dynamics C4 Systems of Scottsdale, Ariz. and Lockheed Martin Integrated Systems and Solutions of Gaithersburg, Md. Today’s award allows the companies to continue on to the third and final phase of the selection process for the IWN systems integrator."

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Inability to communicate major flaw in storm response (Shreveport): " .... 'Participants recommended that land line, Internet, commercial radio and television, fiber optic, fax, two-way radio, cellular voice and text, satellite telephone, OnStar, and HAM radio should be considered in an integrated response. System failures are hard to predict, so participants felt that all available channels of communications should be used to reinforce a detailed common communications plan for each region,' the report says" - State CIOs skeptical of hurricane readiness: "On the first day of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, the ability of government at the federal, state and local levels to deal with major disasters is no better than it was when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region last year. That is the overwhelming consensus of government and private-sector technology experts who convened in Washington, D.C., this week for a conference sponsored by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers. CIOs and other top technology leaders from 38 states, Guam, and the District of Columbia are among the 280 conference participants."