It’s been a very busy and important week for our nation!
On July 8th, with the signing of the DHS Interoperability Act--H.R.615, a big step was taken to ensure cross-organization communication and collaboration. I’m pleased this important legislation passed with bi-partisan support and was quickly signed by President Obama, and excited AtHoc will help play a role in solving the long-standing problem.
The term "Interoperable Communications" is a mouthful. Simply put, it means that organizations using different communication systems can exchange and make use of important information in a crisis. Congress defined Interoperable Communications as well:
"…the term 'interoperable communications' means the ability of [agencies] to communicate with each other as necessary, utilizing information technology systems and radio communications systems to exchange voice, data, and video in real time, as necessary, for acts of terrorism, daily operations, planned events, and emergencies."
Interoperability really matters—and saves lives. Whether for physical security, cyber security or public safety, the ability of federal agencies, local first responders, healthcare organizations and commercial entities to efficiently collaborate is essential to the safety of our nation, critical infrastructure and the public at large.
HR 615 impacts only DHS organizations, but the need exists almost everywhere--government agencies at the State and Local level struggle with it, as do commercial enterprises working with first responders and their community partners. In fact, additional legislation is pending in Congress, HR 2206, which addresses similar interoperability requirements at the state level.
AtHoc’s newest offering - AtHoc Connect – is aimed at addressing this need. Organizations can now create their own secure permission-based networks that enable network members to communicate with each other in times of need. It’s already working! Recently, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency piloted AtHoc Connect to solve their interoperability challenges when communicating with the many government agencies in the National Capital Region(NCR). They "war gamed" our solution and successfully demonstrated the capability of communicating across diverse systems and agencies if a crisis were to strike in the NCR – participants included the multiple Defense and Homeland Security agencies.
The ability to exchange and make use of information is absolutely necessary when responding to a crisis. We’re happy to play a part in making that a reality. To get the whole story on AtHoc Connect, take a look at our website and the new video [LINK] our team created.