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CISA Develops New Program to Support National Security, Emergency Preparedness Communications

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The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has developed a new program intended to provide priority voice, data, video and information services to meet the government’s national security and emergency preparedness communications requirements.

The Next Generation Network Priority Services program is divided into two phases, with the first one aiming to transition NS/EP communications from circuit to packet voice priority service, An Nguyen, an electronics engineer for CISA, wrote in a blog post published Friday.

During Phase 2, CISA will work to extend priority service to multimedia applications and information services such as cloud services, enterprise web applications and online photo storage.

Priority capabilities will also be added to the network service providers’ environments to facilitate interoperable priority across government, commercial, wireless and private networks. 

“These capabilities will ensure that NS/EP officials have the prioritized network connectivity for communications in disaster and disadvantaged scenarios,” Nguyen said. 

CISA is also working with standards organizations and industry partners to standardize the priority access capabilities and is planning to engage with network service providers to determine the readiness of their communication platforms for deployment.

A 2012 executive order tasked the Department of Homeland Security to manage the development, testing, implementation and sustainment of NS/EP communications.