Control Rooms Alliance Launches PPDR Interface Standardization
Thursday, June 15, 2017 | Comments

The International Critical Control Rooms Alliance (ICCRA) launched a project to drive the standardization of critical control room technical interfaces for public protection and disaster relief (PPDR) organizations.

There is no common interface standard between the telecommunications solution and the PPDR organization. This has led to myriad proprietary approaches, which in some cases, can result in the sub-performance of PPDR operations.

“This first ICCRA project is concerned with driving the development of essential standards for interfacing critical control rooms — particularly those related to PPDR operations — with each other, their international colleagues and the telecoms solutions on which they rely,” said ICCRA Chair Peter Prater.

In this first round of standardization, ICCRA will focus on the ability to pass calls between emergency call receipt centers and critical control rooms, between emergency call receipt centers and between critical control rooms. Standards will also target transferring incident forms and other data messages between critical control rooms, along with an interface between mission-critical Long Term Evolution (LTE) and critical control room processes such as CAD and integration control room systems (ICCS).

ICCRA has not yet found a standards body to drive the work, and the initial work will establish the current position for a standards group because aspects of the work are ongoing locally, nationally and internationally, Prater said. "The timeline will ultimately be driven by the standards bodies that will be responsible for creating the standards," Prater said. "ICCRA’s intention is to strongly drive the agenda and, if you like, lobby those bodies to do the work."

The core team will publish a project brief or overview directed at the user community and then workshop the subject during the ICCRA congress in Geneva in December. "The outcome of that should be a wider understanding of the current position, its impacts on effective PPDR performance and a strong and educated buy-in for our project from the user base which can then be taken forward through 2018 onwards," he said.

The newly formed ICCRA is targeting the global control room marketing, including PPDR groups.

"Whether there is a need for standards to which multiple vendors can manufacture information, communications, technology (ICT) solutions should not even be a question today," Prater said. "There are too many examples of the trouble associated with proprietary interfaces. While this project may not meet with every supplier’s approval, and it is undoubtedly a massive subject to tackle as ICCRA’s first project, if ICCRA is to be the force for good in critical control rooms that all associated with it want it to be, then we cannot avoid the tricky subjects."

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On 6/17/17, Pratert said:
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