New Illinois FirstNet website a repository for NPSBN information
On February 22, 2012, President Obama signed into law the “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012,” which included provisions to fund and govern a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). It also called for the formation of FirstNet as an independent authority within the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to create the overarching framework for the network and secure nationwide standards for use and access to the network. The FirstNet Board is also responsible for issuing requests for proposals to build, operate, and maintain the network, and overseeing the contracts with non-federal entities to build, operate, and maintain the network.
FirstNet will ensure the participation of the public safety community in design, operation, and governance. The nationwide network should be first and foremost a public safety network linking law enforcement, emergency management, fire, public works, and EMS. Although the network may eventually be used for other purposes, public safety considerations in design, operation, and governance must be kept paramount from the outset.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is designated as the State of Illinois primary point of contact for FirstNet. For more information, visit Illinois FirstNet’s website.
Illinois plans to meet FCC narrowbanding deadline
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has developed a PowerPoint presentation to increase awareness about the upcoming narrowbanding deadline. This presentation will help local responders better understand what narrowbanding is and how it will impact their communications.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has mandated all non-federal public safety licensees using 25kHz radio systems migrate to narrowband 12.5 kHz channels by December 31, 2012. If public safety agencies do not make the move to narrowband channels they may face a loss of communications capabilities. In order to meet the narrowband deadline, public safety agencies should start making plans to comply now. Below you will find a letter from the Statewide Interoperable Executive Committee (SIEC) Chairman Delegate, Gary Cochran, outlining the narrowbanding requirements and implications for first responder agencies. Additionally, you will find the calendar the SIEC Technology Working Group has created to outline Illinois' plan to reach the December 31, 2012 deadline for moving from the current wideband to the new narrowband channels.
A new resource is available if you are unsure if your equipment is narrowband capable, simply go to the FCC's Equipment Authorization web site and enter the FCC ID NUMBER (sometimes called the TYPE ACCEPTANCE NUMBER) as follows:
PLEASE TAKE THIS SURVEY!
- Enter the first 3 characters of the FCC ID in the first box (the GRANTEE CODE)
- Enter the remaining characters of the FCC ID in the second box (PRODUCT CODE)
- Click on START SEARCH
- Click on DISPLAY GRANT
- Locate entries under EMISSION DESIGNATOR.
Emission designators that begin with characters greater than "11K3" are WIDEBAND, emission designators that begin with characters less than (or equal to) "11K3" are NARROWBAND.
This is a special survey that will allow the State of Illinois to address the overall issue of Narrowband migration.
The Federal Communications Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) launched a new webpage dedicated to providing information and assistance to licensees migrating their land mobile radio systems from 25 kHz to 12.5 kHz or narrower channel bandwidth.
The webpage includes the following information:
- Narrowbanding benefits for public safety users;
- Frequently Asked Questions - answering technical and policy-related questions;
- Links to information and resources regarding grant programs;
- FCC Bureau-level contacts for those seeking additional information and assistance;
- FCC News Releases on narrowbanding proceedings and initiatives;
- A list of public safety frequency coordinators; and
- Access to the FCC's licensing database.
Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP)
The latest version of the Illinois' Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP) has been officially accepted by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Illinois State Police, Illinois Terrorism Task Force, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Emergency Services Management Association, Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System, Mutual Aid Box Alarm System, and Chicago/Cook County Urban Area.
The plan identifies a statewide strategy that focuses on establishing a single platform so all public safety agencies can share emergency information. The development of the SCIP was a cooperative effort by a consortium of federal, state, and local public safety practitioners working through the Illinois Terrorism Task Force's Communications Committee and the Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee. Annual reviews/updates to the SCIP will be conducted under the auspices of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
Download a complete copy of the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan, Illinois: A State of Interoperability, April 2012, Version 2.1 (3MB)
To download an individual chapter of the Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan, please select from the following list. Please note that any updates or revisions to the Plan will be indicated here, as well.
Statewide Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan (TICP)
Illinois recognizes the need for immediate interagency communications, interoperability, and cooperation. Effective prevention, protection, response and recovery to incidents, whether natural or man-made, mandate instant interoperability and cooperation from local to State to federal response agencies. Effective communication requires coordination, collaboration, and a method of resolving conflicts.
This document establishes a Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan (TICP) for the State Agencies of Illinois, inclusive of Illinois Homeland Security Statewide Regions and closely aligned non-governmental organizations. The TICP is intended to document the interoperable communication resources available to Illinois State entities, who controls each resource, and what rules of use or operational procedures exist for the activation and deactivation of each resource. Many of the assets identified in this plan are also available to county and local agencies. The use of those assets will be covered in their tactical plans.
The development of this TICP was a cooperative effort by a working group comprised of representatives from each of the State Agencies participating in the Plan. The make-up of the workgroup ensured that the interests and needs of each participating agency were addressed during development of the plan.
Below you will find a link to the first 45 pages of the State of Illinois' TICP. The completion of this document is still in progress. Upon its completion, the signatures of the State Interoperable Executive Committee will be obtained and will serve as recommendation for final approval by Directors from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Illinois State Police.
Download a complete copy of the Statewide Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan (TICP), October, 2009, Version 1.4
To download an individual chapter of the Statewide Tactical Interoperable Communications Plan, please select from the following list. Please note that any updates or revisions to the Plan will be indicated here, as well.
Illinois Transportable Emergency Communications System (ITECS)
In 2006, the ITTF placed nine Illinois Transportable Emergency Communications System (ITECS) suites throughout the state. The ITECS has a robust communications capability to ensure communications interoperability at the site of a major disaster.
The suites are sophisticated mobile communications packages with multiple systems that are housed around the state and are available to deploy anywhere in Illinois to enhance or replace local emergency response communications following any disaster or incident. Each ITECS suite contains two laptop computers, a satellite Internet system, radios and repeaters, chargers and backup batteries, a multi-line telephone system, a 50-foot communications tower and one 10,000 watt diesel generator.
Each ITECS suite is staffed by three personnel: a supervisor/frequency manager, an electronics/computer technician, and a mechanical technician. These personnel received special training on the equipment and attend a training workshop each year to keep current in equipment operations. The communications suite and tow vehicle cost nearly $400,000. Funding for the equipment came from the U.S. Department of Homeland security federal preparedness grant.
State Radio Communications System for the 21st Century (Starcom21)
Starcom21 is an APCO Project-25 Trunked Radio System for voice and data operations for the State of Illinois. As the state's interoperable platform, Starcom21 also provides radio communications and interoperability to federal, state, and local public safety agencies. ISPERN radio transmissions are cross patched creating interoperability on Starcom21. Other VHF frequencies may be bridged into the network in the future. Starcom21 provides radio coverage in more than 98 percent of the geographic area of Illinois with a failure rate of 5 percent or less. The legislation that established the State Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC) also established a Starcom21 Oversight Committee, with voting membership, to reflect the user base of the system. The Oversight Committee is establishing guidelines and practices for use of the system so that one group of users will not negatively affect another group operating on the system. Each individual agency using Starcom21 agrees to abide by the guidance given by the Starcom21 Oversight Committee.
The Starcom21 Oversight Committee, statutorily chaired by the Illinois State Police, was established by state legislation in 2006. The Oversight Committee was called to order after the final system acceptance of Starcom21 in 2008. The Oversight Committee is made up of various public safety disciplines that are representative of users of the Starcom21 network. The Oversight Committee is responsible for approving requests for use of the system based on the potential impact on current Starcom21 users and must, as well, review all requests for patches, bridges, or gateways to the system. The Committee also reviews requests for adding additional users and directs the vendor in the appropriate methodologies to be used in addressing requests from potential users.
The State of Illinois and Motorola Solutions have entered into a 10 year contract to provide the State of Illinois' interoperable communications platform. STARCOM21 provides interoperable communications to state, local, federal, and approved non-governmental agencies. For more detailed information including fee structures or to download the contract please visit the Illinois Procurement Bulletin.
Communications Interoperability Links
Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS)
Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Emergency Communications
DHS Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) Technical Assistance