Obama establishes new emergency comms effort

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President Obama signed an executive order July 7 directing the Homeland Security Department to establish a new center with industry capable of stepping in to provide communications connectivity to government "under all conditions."

The executive order states that the government should have the ability to communicate "at all times and under all circumstances," and also establishes a new national security and emergency preparedness communications executive committee.

The committee--which will also have a program office (separate from the public-private center)--will have representation at the assistant secretary level from the departments of State, Defense, Justice, Commerce, and Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the General Services Administration, and the Federal Communications Commission.

Among the tasks of the committee will be to develop a long-term strategy and to propose funding requirements to create the right combination hardness, redundancy, mobility, connectivity, interoperability, restorability and security that will permit the survivability of national security communications.

The order also details responsibilities for particular agencies, assigning to the Commerce Department development of guidance on the use of technical standards and metrics.

For more:
- go to the executive order

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