Join National Consultation on Establishing Operational Standards for Public Safety Broadband Network Apps – Showcase your Existing and Emerging Products
July 15, 2016

Public safety.jpgWatch Video Podcast with Study Partner Lead

The Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance is pleased to be partnering with the Government of Saskatchewan, the University of Regina, the Saskatchewan Interoperability Interest Group, the Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group (CITIG) and Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science (DRDC CSS) on a foundational study seeking to develop recommendations and guidance on the operational requirements for applications and the development of applications that meet these operational requirements, as they pertain to the Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN) and 700 MHz Band 14 mobile devices.

This study will bring a committee of Canadian experts together to develop a framework for the qualification (selection), testing and validation of public safety applications that ensures adherence to the Statement of Operational Requirement (SOR) for applications and interoperability. This committee of experts will hold two public consultations: one in Regina this October and the second in Ottawa in March 2017. A special Demo Day showcasing existing or pre-commercialized products will be held at the Bridging Research and Interoperability Centre (BRIC) preceding the Regina workshop, offering developers an opportunity to showcase their service and/or seek valuable insights into the potential of applications currently under development.

The project is funded through the Canadian Safety and Security program, a federal program led by DRDC CSS, in partnership with Public Safety Canada.

Learn more in Video Podcast

Watch as CATAAlliance’s Chief Business Officer, Kevin Wennekes, interviews project lead Steve Palmer, Executive Director of the Collaborative Centre for Justice and Safety, University of Regina, who discusses the consultation objectives, workshop format, and expected outcomes. The importance of Industry participation through contributions of expertise, thought leadership, and support is highlighted.  

View this 10-minute briefing at:

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Background Information

The mobile applications development, distribution and maintenance system is well developed for the public marketplace. However, the community serving the safety, security and health of the Canadian public and its infrastructure, which includes law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics and emergency management stakeholders have a unique public service mission implying the need for different mobile applications from the general public. Furthermore, applications on a broadband public safety network have specific interoperability considerations not commonly encountered on commercial networks. The term “Public Safety Grade” is often used to convey the need for design choices that support a greater overall reliability and resiliency to service disruptions compared to commercial mobile services.

For those applications that support critical public safety missions, they must satisfy a higher level of reliability than consumer-grade applications. In all cases, public safety applications must satisfy stringent levels of security at the vetting stage and throughout their life cycle. Even in closed ecosystem application stores, there is evidence that malware-infected applications are present. Compromised or malevolent applications are a major threat vector to the security of information and ultimately to the safety and security of emergency responders and those whom they protect. It is imperative that an applications life cycle management process be underpinned by rigorous conformance to strong security policies and practices.

Interoperability is also an important operational consideration that impacts applications at several levels such as between applications and user device operating systems, user device-generated data, and network-generated data. Standards development organizations’ (SDOs) missions are to facilitate interoperability. But in many cases there is more than one SDO publishing standards for the same functions. For example, there are several standards for application programming interfaces (APIs) and data models. It is important to select the suite of standards that can ensure interoperability throughout the life of the PSBN and its technological evolutions.

Finally, the quality assessment and testing of applications can be expensive and time-consuming, and as such it is important to focus on the most critical aspects to be tested and to develop a strategy that minimizes the time and cost of testing. The SOR developed in this study will enable the identification of critical elements in order to focus on the most critical aspects that can be tested and to develop a strategy that minimizes multiple tests.   

The project output will provide a collaborative web venue by which stakeholders requirements for safe, secure, interoperable, shareable and affordable wireless applications are available to industry as well as test and validation methodologies for industry to measure compliance of existing applications against the SOR and to support development of new compliant applications. Study results are envisioned to include a matrix-like construct identifying application categories with increasing levels of criticality and requirements they must meet. Industry will benefit from this approach with the establishment and publication of real and vetted stakeholders’ requirements, allowing for the development/enhancement of technology to address them. Stakeholders will benefit from the opportunity to focus their attention on both individual and collective interoperable needs with the support of industry and academia subject matter experts, and objectively define those needs. This along with a test and validation methodology and sustainability recommendations will result in increased confidence by stakeholders and government officials in the value of applications for safety and security of responders and the public.

In addition, it will establish the groundwork for standards development and operating procedures related to applications for an interoperable PSBN. The study will also provide guidance on the definition of users/potential users in a PSBN once stakeholders begin to actively consider how they would use applications.

For more information

Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance

Kevin Wennekes

Chief Business Officer

(613) 769-8614

Collaborative Centre for Justice and Safety

Steve Palmer

Executive Director

M 306-535-8365

0 306-337-2570