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Office for Interoperability and Compatibility

Office for Interoperability and Compatibility

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC) provides local, tribal, territorial, state and federal stakeholders with the tools, technologies, methodologies and guidance to enable improved communications interoperability at all levels of government. OIC manages a comprehensive research, development, testing, evaluation and standards program to enhance interoperable emergency communications.

Learn More About OIC

Emergency responders—police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians—need to share vital voice, video and data information across disciplines and jurisdictions to successfully respond to both day-to-day incidents and large-scale emergencies. Unfortunately, inadequate and unreliable communications systems have compromised their ability to perform mission-critical duties. Responders often have difficulty communicating when adjacent agencies are assigned to different radio bands, use incompatible proprietary systems and infrastructure or lack adequate standard operating procedures and effective multi-jurisdictional, multi-disciplinary governance structures.

OIC executes activities across the Voice, Video and Data Communications portfolio. The Voice, Video, and Data Communications portfolio addresses the means through which first responders send and receive information.

OIC helps improve interoperability by developing tools, best practices, technologies and methodologies that emergency response agencies can immediately put into effect. OIC is committed to working in partnership with all stakeholders to address critical emergency response communication needs with programs that advocate a “bottom-up” approach.

For more information, contact us at first.responder@hq.dhs.gov.

Our Projects

Datacasting

The datacasting technology provides public safety users with the capability to transmit secure data, including voice, text, files, images, and video over existing broadcast television signals to a targeted audience. It is a reliable tool to connect first responders so they have the situational awareness and information they need to make informed decisions when responding to an incident.

Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP)

Communications equipment manufacturers often use different technical approaches that have the potential to leave their products incompatible. P25 CAP provides first responders with summary test reports and declaration of compliance documentation from suppliers. This information ensures equipment complies with P25 standards and ultimately reduces waste and poor investments in untested equipment.

Video Quality in Public Safety (VQiPS)

VQiPS develops assessment tools and guidance documents that enable first responder agencies to purchase and deploy appropriate video technology to meet their operational needs. When first responder agencies purchase and deploy of systems in accordance with VQiPS guidance, they enhance video system interoperability within and across agencies. VQiPS coordinates disparate video standard development efforts and ultimately arm public safety consumers with the knowledge they need to purchase and deploy cost-efficient, interoperable video systems.

Learn more about Datacasting, P25 CAP, VQiPS, and other OIC projects by browsing related publications, fact sheets, news and videos.

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