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Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program

Summary

Interoperable equipment that complies with public’s safety standards is vital to mission critical communications. The Project 25 Compliance Assessment program (P25 CAP) provides an independent method to verify that public safety radio and communications equipment is compliant with the standards. Past research indicates that some radios currently sold under the Project 25 (P25) label did not in fact meet all of the standards’ requirements. To address this issue, the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program, with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Interoperability and Compatibility (DHS OIC), built a coalition of public safety users and communications equipment manufacturers to create an independent compliance assessment program to recognize laboratories that test equipment for standards compliance.

Description

pscr prjoect 25

For several decades public safety agencies purchased and used equipment developed by disparate manufacturers and were operating on a different spectrum. As a result, this equipment often could not interoperate, preventing many public safety agencies from communicating when responding to critical incidents. Public safety and industry partnered through P25 on developing standards that allow radios and other components to interoperate regardless of the manufacturer—enabling emergency responders to exchange critical communications. P25 specifies formal standards for interfaces between the various components of a land mobile radio (LMR) system, commonly used by emergency responders. The P25 CAP offers a compliance assessment process where a laboratory can confirm that equipment, advertised by manufacturers as P25-compliant, adheres to critical components of the P25 suite of standards.

AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH

The P25 Compliance Assessment Program:

  • Allows P25 equipment suppliers to formally demonstrate their products’ compliance with a select group of requirements by testing it in recognized labs
  • Provides a cost-effective solution as DHS OIC works with internationally recognized accreditation bodies to recognize existing independent laboratories to conduct equipment testing rather than building a large centralized facility
  • Provides a catalyst for industry and the community it serves to develop a solution

VALUE TO PUBLIC SAFETY

The P25 CAP Program provides emergency response agencies nationwide with a consistent and traceable method to gather P25 compliance information on the products they buy. This program, through grant guidance, provides a means of verifying that Federal grant dollars are invested in standardized solutions and equipment that promotes interoperability for the public safety community. The P25 CAP also generates manufacturer competition, resulting in more affordable technologies.

Major Accomplishments

The P25 Compliance Assessment Program:

  • Impacts billions of dollars in purchases of public safety equipment to ensure that it improves interoperability
  • Supports the migration from proprietary and stove-piped communications systems to open, standards-based systems
  • Ensures that emergency response technologies effectively meet the needs of practitioners in the field
Created August 12, 2016, Updated September 6, 2016