Ten years later—Why so little progress? (7 September 2011)
As the world marks the ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, it seems that our nation has made scant progress in correcting
the serious problems with public safety communications that hampered the efforts of first responders that terrible day, and that
were subsequently highlighted in the 2004 9/11 Commission Report.
It is not that money hasn't been spent, but there doesn't seem to be much to show in the way of tangible progress.
Furthermore, some of the new radio technologies seem to be falling short, as is highlighted in the article
at new digital radios, as failures risk lives authored by Lydia Mulvaney and Greg Gordon. The BiPartisan Policy Center's
Tenth Anniversary Report Card on the Status of the 9/11 Commission Recommendations
also documents the disappointing progress (ref. page 14) made during the past decade towards improving public safety
communications, and highlights the lack of effective political leadership.
As communications systems technologists, we have to wonder how our industry has failed to deliver on promises of reliable,
interoperable communications. Are we rushing to implement standards that were outdated by the mid 1990s? Have the unique
requirements of first responders been adequately factored into the standards and designs? Is there effective third-party
testing and evaluation of communications systems that address real-world operating environments? There is much our industry
has to answer to.
As the smartphones and tablets in the market today clearly demonstrate, we have made enormous progress in communications
technologies over the past decade, but neither the smartphone, nor the traditional brick public safety radio, seems
capable of meeting the essential requirements of first responders. Clearly there is a vital need to achieve more, without
necessarily having to spend more. The right solutions are often the most cost-effective, while inappropriate solutions cost
more than they should in both dollars and lives.
Internet by Definition
On November 12, Interisle partner Fred Goldstein was a panelist in the e-Conference
A Third Way For The Internet: Neither The US Nor The UN But Independence?",
sponsored by the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) of the Columbia University
His presentation "Internet by Definition" (which begins around 1:07:50) explained why the Internet, as a set of voluntary
agreements, cannot actually be governed, though its participants may trust coordination
functions, which are essentially consultative.
Interisle's DNS Name Collision Report Posted
Interisle's report on Name Collision
in the DNS has been posted by ICANN.
Interisle provided input to the FCC
Interisle partner Fred Goldstein has filed these Comments
with the FCC in the recent docket concerning whether, or how, non-carrier Interconnected Voice over IP service providers
should have direct access to telephone numbers. He points out how some of the suggested methods
could have a destabilizing effect on the public switched telephone network.
Interisle report on Barnstable County IT & Telecomms survey published
The Cape Cod Economic Development Council published
Interisle's report on a 2012 survey of Barnstable County IT and Telecommunications. You can read more about the CCEDC project at
Support for the FCC's Open Internet Order
Interisle partner Lyman Chapin is one of the Internet engineers and technologists who have filed
a brief amicus curiae
supporting affirmation of the FCC's 21 December 2010
Open Internet Order,
which has been challenged by Verizon and MetroPCS in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The summary of the argument presented in the brief begins "The Internet's remarkable ability to generate innovation, investment,
and economic growth is a product of its openness."