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Public Safety Broadband Requirements and Standards Project Description


In order to assure that an interoperable public safety broadband network meets public safety’s communications requirements, The Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program actively participates in the requirements gathering and standards development process. Broadband presents a unique opportunity for public safety, via FirstNet, to define their requirements from the beginning and only deploy a network that conforms to the standards and meets their requirements. This opportunity allows public safety to avoid the interoperability problems that plagued land mobile radio systems for decades and provide increased communications capabilities through broadband technology.


PSCR has actively participated in the requirements gathering and standards development process for public safety communications since its inception in 2007.   

"The PSCR (Public Safety Communications Research) staff ... has traveled the world over, going to 3GPP meetings and going from a point where we thought public safety was going to be buried under a whole bunch of commercial concerns and we'd never get anything done. Three or four years later, we're right at the top."

- FirstNet Board Member Keven McGinnis

In addition, PSCR participated in The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) standards process for land mobile radio for many years, and currently participates in the key standards development organizations for broadband, including The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), The Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA), The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA), and The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). PSCR also has long standing relationships with many public safety organizations that focus on defining requirements for public safety communications. PSCR is uniquely positioned to represent FirstNet and public safety as new broadband technologies are tested in PSCR’s Demonstration Network and as FirstNet builds out the nationwide network.


PSCR has contributed in the following requirements gathering and standards development efforts for broadband since 2007:

PSCR is a member of the key standards development organizations for public safety broadband communications, including 3GPP, which is developing the standards for the technology (LTE) selected by public safety for broadband, to represent FirstNet, public safety, and their requirements.


Broadband technology presents a significant opportunity for public safety agencies to implement a nationwide interoperable communications network that meets the unique needs of first responders. There are as many as 5 million public safety users in the United States. The FirstNet deployment of a public safety LTE network will let public safety adopt broadband technologies that support high-speed data transmission across long distances creating access to video, mapping, GPS applications, and more. It is crucial that public safety’s requirements are incorporated into the standards so that Federal grant dollars and taxpayer dollars are spent only on equipment that is interoperable and allows first responders to better carry out their mission of protecting lives and property.

Created August 18, 2016, Updated October 20, 2016