David Fletcher's Government and Technology Weblog : news & perspectives from a long-time egov advocate
Updated: 6/10/2003; 1:19:29 PM.



Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Tom Ridge met with the Media Security and Reliability Council.  The purpose of this group is to:

prepare a comprehensive national strategy for securing and sustaining Broadcast and MVPD (multichannel video programming distribution) facilities throughout the United States during terrorist attacks, natural disasters and all other threats (MPG video) or attacks nationwide.

As we develop state strategies for emergency response and notification, we should be aware of what this and other related groups are doing nationally.  The MSRC is also concered with infrastructure protection for the broadcast community.  In Utah, the Department of Health is coordinating the effort to implement a targeted alert notification system.

In its best practices document, the Council recommended that:

Government should coordinate development of a Media Common Alert Protocol (MCAP).  This protocol should be designed to deliver emergency messages via digital networks.  It should flow over all methods of digital transport and be received by all digital receivers.  This protocol should be optimized for point-to-multi-point networks and devices only.

Additional alert notification recommendations call for the creation of a national, uniform, all-hazard risk communication process that leverages the use of current, emerging and legacy systems for maximum coverage.  Additional recommendations in the document should be applied as we develop our notification strategy.

The Division of Emergency Services offers a course on emergency alert and notification.  They will be sponsoring a public officials conference in August.

2:26:25 PM    comment []

Yesterday, we went up to the top of Ensign Peak to inspect the radio towers that the State maintains on that site.  Utah mountaintops support a wide variety of communications, so that a site like Ensign Peak may support private radio for companies like Questar and Pacificorp, television stations, public safety radio, etc.  The National Weather Service also maintains radio transmitters on many of these same sites.  The State also supports some amateur radio networks that are used for emergency communications by groups like UCARES.  I was surprised how robust the UCARES website was and noticed that they are making extensive use of a variety of open source tools, including PostNuke (a content management system), ADOdb (standardized database connectivity), and PHP.

I also ran across the Internet Repeater Linking Project that is using IP to link amateur radio systems over IP without the use of RF links, leased lines, or satellites.  There are currently 948 nodes, 476 of which are in the US.  The Utah VHF Society maintains extensive information on VHF activity and coordination throughout the state. 

8:44:06 AM    comment []

© Copyright 2003 David Fletcher.

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