Winbourne Consulting offers a full range of public safety services, including strategic planning, systems integration, specifications development, solution acquisition, and implementation project management and quality assurance.
Our Areas of Expertise encompass all segments of Public Safety, including:
Our Clients include city, county, state, and federal agencies located throughout the United States and the world, as well as countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, and South America.
All of us at Winbourne Consulting want to extend our Holiday Season Greeting to each of you. As always, the New Year will be filled with new opportunities and challenges and we are excited to work with our clients and partners in the public safety community in developing innovative approaches and solutions..
2016—In the rearview mirror
During the past year, our industry witnessed many important steps forward in the growth of public safety communications and response technologies. Some of the notable events of the past year include the following:
2017 will include new challenges to our industry that include a continued push for the funding and implementation of NG9-1-1 across the U.S., the genesis of FirstNet implementation, the continuing development of new technologies, new policies and programs from a new presidential administration, and a developing demand for integrated emergency communications across the world.
Anticipated Changes in Public Safety Technology and Public Policy for 2017
FirstNet—On January 13, 2016 First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board issued their Request for Proposal (RFP) to deploy the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN). The award announcement was anticipated for November 2016, but delayed due to a protest. When the award is finally made, it will be recognized as a major step forward for public safety nationwide. As a corollary, it will also create a flurry of activity by states looking to analyze the FirstNet awardees’ state plans as part of the opt-in and opt-out process. Several states, such as New Hampshire, have already issued and awarded contracts in anticipation of conducting this analysis.
Role of PSAP in FirstNet’s Architecture—A key issue for the FirstNet program is how it will address the role of the Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP) in their overall architecture for transmitting public safety data to the first responders. How the data, such as photos, videos, etc. will be transmitted from citizens to the first responders on the scene is yet to be to directly addressed.
NG9-1-1 NOW! Coalition—In January of 2016, the NG9-1-1 NOW! Coalition was formed. It is composed of leading public safety organizations such as NENA, NASNA, iCERT, and the National 911 Program Office. Other organizations have announced their support for the coalition and its goal of implementing NG9-1-1 across the United States including the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIS), NG9-1-1 Institute, the 911 Education Foundation, Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), and the Internet 2 Technical Evaluation Center at Texas A&M.
Planning and Implementation NG9-1-1—During 2016, procurement actions of various types dealing with NG911 implementation were initiated in New York City, the Washington, DC National Capital Area, Washington State, North Carolina, and Illinois. Also, PSAPs in several states pressed ahead with regional initiatives. Future implementation efforts could get a boost if the current discussions in Congress that address the funding of the build-out materialize. One of the most vocal advocates for NG9-1-1, FCC Chairman Wheeler announced that he is stepping down; his leadership on this critical issue will be missed.
Text-to-911—More Text-to-911 product providers are offering integrated solutions. In 2016, Canada implemented Text-with-911 nationally.
Body Worn Cameras and Digital Evidence—Body Worn Cameras (BWC) initiatives continue to be a focus of attention among public safety agencies along with the accompanying budget requirements. The policy and cost issues will continue to be front and center as more and more agencies move to implement BWCs.
Data Interoperability – Data interoperability, particularly the interoperability of CAD to CAD data is emerging as being a key requirement among public safety agencies. A number of interoperability procurements have occurred over the past year including Los Angeles, Denver and the state of Utah; and the Boston metropolitan region has implemented a CAD-to-CAD interoperability solution for the region. The need for data interoperability across public safety applications will become a pressing issue as FirstNet implementation starts—what will go on the network? How will the data get there? These are just some of the questions that will need to be addressed.
Smart Cities, Big Data, IOT, Cyber Security— As cities, systems, people become more connected through initiatives such as Smart Cities; the use of Big Data to assist in the management of those cities as well as how that data is collected and analyzed will have an increasing impact on our communities and families. A generally accepted fact is that the threat from cyberattacks or hacking will only increase and become more sophisticated as we move to more IP based and interconnected networks. The use of devices generally referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT) will not only enable public safety agencies to gather data and potentially enhance their performance; but will also make their communications networks susceptible to cyberattacks.
As the calendar moves to 2017 and beyond, the following terms and issues will become more and more relevant to the management of public safety systems and networks.
What is a Smart City—By some definitions it is a city that provides a wide range of services and applications for its residents and visitors over a broadband wireless infrastructure. The data flowing through the infrastructure is captured as “Big Data” and analyzed to identify what services are key to the residents, how to improve the quality of life, and expand economic development.
Big Data - Many US and Canadian cities are investing in both the communications infrastructure and the ability to capture and analyze the data. Municipal broadband initiatives are continuing to emerge as mid-size and smaller municipalities and counties embrace the Smart City vision. Big Data not only uses people as a source of data, but also collects data from such sources as social media, Internet applications, telephones and email. Increasingly, data is available from a wide variety of IP devices that service our homes, schools, offices, factories and highways, to name a few. Devices such as traffic cameras, smart phones, home security systems, toll collection readers and even IP-based defibrillators found in shopping malls and airports are only a few of the apparatus that we interact with every day.
How does this impact 911? - The NG9-1-1 Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet) can be part of this backbone communications network. NG911 allows people to communicate with their 911 center through voice, text, video, and photos as well as to allow the 911 center to transmit this information to first responders on a dedicated, secure network.
Cyber Security – Threats are not only focused directly on individual bank accounts or Facebook accounts, but hackers are increasingly obtaining access to accounts indirectly through IoT devices. Consequently, 911 centers will increasingly be targeted by criminals hacking into the networks and applications as a means of gaining access to individuals’ data.
We want to extend our thanks and appreciation to our Clients and Business Partners, whether they are first responders, government executives, technology and communications agencies, private sector firms, or international organizations. What we were able to accomplish together in 2016 has established a strong and exciting foundation for a productive and exciting 2017.
Our industry is continuing to evolve, providing all of us new technical and operational opportunities, as well as challenges. We look forward to serving our industry and our clients in 2017 by continuing to provide innovative and cost effective solutions through our consulting and systems integration services.
Winbourne Consulting is assisting Arlington County to implement an upgrade of aspects of its Public Safety Radio System to enhance coverage and reliability. We are working with the County to develop technical specifications and requirements for equipment to improve in-building coverage, and enhance first responder safety.
Onondaga County, NY signed a contract with Winbourne Consulting to evaluate their mobile data network, and provide guidance and support for the anticipated replacement of that important network. We will be kicking the project off in early January.
Public Safety News
Task Force on Optimal Public Safety Answering Point Architecture (TFOPA) Releases their final report.
The FCC's Task Force on Optimal Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Architecture (Task Force or TFOPA) has been directed to study and report findings and recommendations on structure and architecture in order to determine whether additional consolidation of PSAP infrastructure and architecture improvements would promote greater efficiency of operations, safety of life, and cost containment, while retaining needed integration with local first responder dispatch and support.
For the full final report visit: https://www.fcc.gov/about-fcc/advisory-committees/general/task-force-optimal-public-safety-answering-point
APCO Expands Efforts to Improve Interoperability & Security for Public Safety Apps. APCO and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) announced a partnership to improve mobile apps for public safety and emergency response. Through this partnership, APCO recently worked with DHS S&T, FirstNet, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to host a workshop in Seattle that brought together public safety professionals, federal agency experts, app developers, industry representatives, and other stakeholders for facilitated discussions on issues such as data interoperability, app security and testing, and legal and policy requirements. The feedback and ideas generated during the workshop will be used to produce an APCO report that examines obstacles to interoperability, as well as potential solutions. Additionally, APCO will explore related enhancements to existing resources – www.AppComm.org, the Key Attributes of Effective Apps for Public Safety and Emergency Response, and app evaluation programs. More information about the workshop can be found here, and more information about APCO's partnership with DHS S&T can be found here.
February 21-24 • Arlington, VA
9-1-1 Goes To Washington is a dynamic forum with educational sessions, keynote speeches and outreach on today's most critical 9-1-1 and emergency communications policy issues. Attendees hear directly from policy makers, Members of Congress, FCC Commissioners and Administration officials and represent their state in meetings on Capitol Hill.
February 28-March 1 • Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Emerging Technology Forum is a two-day event created to meet the needs of public safety communications professionals who want an overview of technologies that are on the horizon.
Articles of Interest
Canada Offers Nationwide Text with 9-1-1 to Deaf, Speech Impaired Community
The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and its wireless carrier members, in partnership with public-safety agencies across the country and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, observe the International Day of Persons with national availability of Text with 9-1-1 service for Canada's deaf, deafened, hard of hearing and speech impaired community. T9-1-1 provides Canadian 9-1-1 call centers with the ability to converse via text messaging with a DHHSI person during an emergency. When DHHSI people require 9-1-1 services, they dial 9-1-1 on their cellphones. There is no need for a caller to speak or hear, because the 9-1-1 call-taker should receive an indicator that advises them to communicate with the caller via text messaging.
There's An App for That
To keep up with an increasingly digitally connected constituency, many local governments have released mobile apps that give residents the ability to access a wealth of information with the tap of a finger. Several cities report that releasing geographic information systems-enabled apps have boosted citizen engagement, primarily through reporting more public works issues. Sugar Land, Texas and Bangor, Maine partnered with third party developers to create their GIS-enabled apps.
Potomac Spectrum Partners plans to begin building nationwide TETRA system by the end of the year
Potomac Spectrum Partners recently announced that it is teaming with partners TASSTA, PowerTrunk and Space Data to develop a nationwide TETRA network for mission-critical voice, data and Internet of Things applications. PSP will leverage 800 MHz SMR frequencies for the initial deployments and plans to integrate 900 MHz SMR channels in the future, Scapier said.
IACP Passes Resolution of Continuing Support for FirstNet
The International Association of Chiefs of Police Communications and Technology Committee passed a resolution showing continued support for the First Responder Network Authority. IACP has supported and participated in the operation of the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee to ensure that the interests of IACP members and the law enforcement community are included in the development of the FirstNet nationwide public-safety broadband network.