P25 CAP Advisory Panel Holds First Meeting, DHS Funding Increases
Monday, April 11, 2016 | Comments
The recently formed Project 25 (P25) Compliance Assessment Program (CAP) advisory panel held its first meeting in February and plans to release several compliance assessment bulletins (CABs) in coming weeks.

After the new CABs are released, the eight P25 CAP laboratories must be re-accredited.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funds the program. DHS officials admitted P25 CAP has “had a few lean years,” but said the program’s funding is back.

Sridhar Kowdley, program manager, DHS Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC), said CAP has more visibility within DHS than in past years. “We are seeing a resurgence,” he said. “There is an understanding by the community, and it was legislated, and it’s not going to go away.”

The CABs include two updated testing bulletins, along with reporting CABs and lab equipment requirements. The new CABs add conventional interoperability to the program and update test standards to the latest drafts of the P25 standards. The bulletins were put out for comment about a year ago.

Jim Holthouse, chair of The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Private Radio Section, said next steps include reviewing the CABs, looking at and prioritizing test environments, promoting the Inter RF Subsystem Interface (ISSI) and testing, making information more accessible and injecting user needs into the standards process for future feature development.

During the past year, the P25 steering committee has approved nine test procedures for P25 standards compliance and forwarded six recommended compliance assessment tests (RCATS) addressing interoperability, conformance and performance to the DHS CAP program manager, said James Downes, P25 steering committee chair.

Education and outreach to help people better understand the standards and refreshing grant language because of all the available digital technologies are two areas of particular interest, said Steve Devine, P25 program manager for the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International.

CAP tests P25 devices, but with the various push-to-talk (PTT) solutions available, the program might need to test the applications themselves or help determine what needs to be done to make the PTT applications interoperable, Devine said.

The advisory panel will meet in Boulder, Colorado, May 4 – 5 and in Orlando, Florida, in August.

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Sandra Wendelken is editor of MissionCritical Communications and RadioResource International magazines. Contact her at swendelken@RRMediaGroup.com.

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On 4/13/16, Frank Moorman said:
Project 25 (P25) is intrinsically defective. You can't make a silk
purse out of a sow's ear. Quit trying to legislate it.
Control freaking it won't make it work. Motorola said
it was bad 20 years ago. Money can't make it work.
Some people never learn.

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