Hearing on Self-Driving Cars Set for March 28

March 21, 2017–The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on digital commerce and consumer protection has scheduled a March 28 hearing on self-driving cars to consider the different levels of vehicle automation available, “how crash avoidance systems are being deployed, and how they are building consumer confidence in automated driving systems,” the subcommittee said.  The hearing is slated to begin at 10 a.m. in Room 232 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Courtesy TRDaily




ARRL Defends Operating Parameters for Secondary Amateur Allocation

March 21, 2017–The American Radio Relay League is defending its petition for rulemaking asking the FCC to adopt regulations to implement acts of the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15) dealing with the international allocation of the 5351.5-5366.5 kilohertz band to the amateur service on a secondary basis (TRDaily, Jan. 12). In particular, the group said “there is not really much room for debate” concerning operating parameters for the allocation given the need to protect primary users of the band. Continue reading

NAF Seeks Prompt Action in Vacant Channel Proceeding

March 21, 2017–The New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute is seeking prompt FCC action in a proceeding in which the agency is considering reversing one vacant TV channel in each market for unlicensed devices. In an ex parte filing in MB docket 15-146 and other dockets reporting on a meeting with FCC officials, the group said “that the outcome of the Incentive Auction, closing at the 84 megahertz threshold, served to reinforce the results of Google’s simulation study of likely Incentive Auction outcomes demonstrating that the vacant-channel proposal will have only a minimal impact on LPTV and translator stations. The study represents the only substantial data in the record that predicts the impact of the Commission pending proposal. Its findings seem even more likely to be accurate if the Incentive Auction closes at the current 84 MHz clearing target, or potentially even lower.”

The filing also reiterated “the strong support of the Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC) for a quick and favorable resolution of the Commission’s still-pending proposal to preserve at least one vacant television channel in every market nationwide for unlicensed use” and it said “that there is no justification for further delay, since the auction is complete and the policy decision should be certainty around national markets to enable TVWS innovation even if a secondary broadcast licensee in one or two markets is left without a clear channel. Continue reading

Texas 911 Agency Cites NSI Call Nuisance

March 21, 2017–The Greater Harris County 9-1-1 Emergency Network says calls from non-service-initialized (NSI) mobile phones are likely to continue to increase with the popularity of smartphones. In an ex parte filing yesterday in PS dockets 08-51 and 10-255 reporting on a recent meeting with Zenji Nakazawa, acting public safety adviser to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, representatives of the Harris County, Texas, agency said that their “current reporting shows that [calls from NSI phones] represent 10% of total call volume that is definitively recorded in the reporting systems. There is an additional 3% to 5% that have no identifying data element in the ALI, [so] these are not included in the reports. … The Houston Emergency Center, the largest PSAP in the GHC 9-1-1 area, processes 10,000 9-1-1 calls daily and has to deal with 1,000 to 1,500 NSI calls daily. Another concern is that these NSI numbers may most likely increase at a greater percentage with the penetration of smartphones and the more frequent upgrade habits of the consumer.” – Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily


CDT Pleases with NEAD Privacy and Security Plan

March 21, 2017–The Center for Democracy & Technology said it is pleased with the National Emergency Address Database (NEAD) privacy and security plan submitted by the wireless industry last month (TRDaily, Feb. 6), although it emphasized that careful implementation of the plan will be critical, including enabling public input. The NEAD is being developed to help implement the FCC’s indoor 911 location accuracy rules. The nation’s four national wireless carriers – Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Inc., Sprint Corp., and T-Mobile US, Inc., – along with NEAD LLC, a non-profit entity established by CTIA to administer the NEAD, submitted the privacy and security plan, which was mandated by the FCC in its indoor 911 location order (TRDaily, Jan. 29, 2015).

In comments filed yesterday in PS docket 07-114, CDT noted that in January 2015, it and other groups expressed “concerns about the privacy impact of the NEAD. We cautioned that users of networked devices likely do not expect that information about their personal devices and physical address will be stored in a national database that is accessible to multiple parties. In those comments, we offered several recommendations for protecting user privacy including strong limits on third-party access to the database and opt-out mechanisms for individuals. CDT is pleased that the draft NEAD Privacy and Security Plan appears largely to address these concerns.” Continue reading

DHS OIC Makes Key Updates to P25 Approved Equipment Web Page

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC) have made key updates for the Approved Equipment web page found on the P25 CAP web site. Changes include an updated equipment approval process and the addition of a search and filter function for STRs and SDOCs. This feature makes finding P25 CAP compliant equipment as easy as searching by Supplier or Equipment Type to get data quickly.

P25 CAP Web Site Updates:

Updated Equipment Approval Process: The Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP) and its Advisory Panel (AP) have for months been working through the issue of the inclusion of non-standard encryption in the P25 environment, and are proud to share that a clear path forward has been reached. Now, the end user will have enhanced clarity on what they’re buying into when it comes to subscriber unit features. The P25 CAP’s website has long featured an Approved (Grant-Eligible) Equipment list. OIC recently approved Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program Encryption Requirements Compliance Assessment Bulletin (CAB) and with that comes a change in the way the Approved Equipment list looks and operates. Site visitors will now come across the following two categories and descriptions:

1)      Fully Compliant with all P25 CAP requirements list document

The above list includes subscriber equipment that’s fully compliant with all P25 CAP requirements. This equipment can be supplied without any installed encryption algorithms or with optional Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) 256 encryption capability, AES 256 encryption is the approved published encryption standard with the broadest support across all levels of law enforcement.

2) Non-compliant with the P25 CAP Encryption CAB requirements list document

The above lists includes subscriber equipment that has been tested to the P25 CAP requirements but have been found to be non-compliant with the P25 CAP Encryption CAB.

The P25 stakeholder community had frequently raised the issue of manufacturers continually providing non-P25 standard encryption algorithms that ultimately would cause interoperability issues with neighboring agencies who were using P25 standard AES 256 encryption. The key concern was the potential impact non-standard encryption has on interoperability. To sum it up, when first responders from different jurisdictions are using subscribers from different vendors but are not using the standards-based and P25 CAP approved AES 256 encryption, it is very possible successful and secure communications will not occur thereby inhibiting interoperability. However, if a subscriber unit would provide the standards-based encryption (AES 256) at a minimum in addition to non-standards based encryption, users can then always use standards-based encryption during a mutual aid scenario or situations where users have different subscriber vendors/models and have a need to operate in an encrypted mode.P25 CAP sought to reach the point where the end user, who is seeking encryption, could be assured that the subscriber unit includes user access to that AES 256 encryption algorithm.

Again, ultimately, the updated equipment requirements are in service of the end user’s clarity of P25 CAP compliant vs. non-compliant equipment options and P25 CAP’s ongoing mission to help ensure interoperability among public safety officials responding to various mutual aid scenarios.

Search and Filter Function

In addition to the web site updates made as a result of the publishing of the Encryption CAB, DHS OIC would also like to announce the creation of a search and filter function on its web site for STRs and SDOCs. This feature makes finding P25 CAP compliant equipment as easy as searching by Supplier or Equipment Type to get the data you need quickly.



Next P25 CAP Advisory Panel to Meet on Wednesday, March 29, 1-5p, at IWCE

Upcoming P25 CAP Advisory Panel Meeting

DHS OIC announces the next in-person meeting of the P25 CAP Advisory Panel will be held in Las Vegas, NV in the Las Vegas Convention Center, 3150 Paradise Road, Room S202, Las Vegas, NV on Wednesday, March 29 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm in conjunction with the 2017 International Wireless Communication Expo (IWCE). Note that the P25 CAP Advisory Panel will conduct an open Q&A session. To help ensure questions are addressed, participants are encouraged to send questions ahead of time to P25CAP@hq.dhs.gov. The questions received through email will be worked in with the audience questions during the open meeting. For more information, please monitor the P25 CAP Advisory Panel website here. The agenda and other announcements will be made available via that link.

Interested in other P25 related or First Responders Group (FRG) sessions and programming at IWCE? Get connected and Follow us on Twitter and Facebook at: @dhsscitech or our FRG website: scitech.dhs.gov/first-responders.