Formed in 1990 in accordance with an agreement between the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), the National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD), and agencies of the U.S. federal government, Project 25 (P25) is a unique user-driven process that works with equipment manufacturers to establish current and emerging wireless land mobile radio (LMR) communications standards that meet the requirements of the public safety community. Project 25 is the only known user-driven emergency communications standards process in the U.S. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate leads the congressionally legislated P25 Compliance Assessment Program and supports SAFECOM recommendations related to emergency communication standards development.
Project 25 Steering Committee
The Project 25 Steering Committee is the governing authority of Project 25 and has the sole authority to approve a standards proposal, telecommunications system bulletin, or white paper as a Project 25 standard. In 1992, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was executed between the founding organizations (APCO, NASTD, and the U.S. federal government) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) defining the roles, responsibilities, and authority of the Project 25 Steering Committee. In accordance with the MOU, the Steering Committee works closely with manufacturers to develop and maintain a suite of standards that best serves the continually evolving needs of the public safety community.
The Steering Committee membership is comprised of public safety users and user representatives from APCO, NASTD, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA), the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC), an associate member from the University of Melbourne (Australia) representing academia, and four federal departments/agencies: Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of the Interior (DOI), Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).
For further information on the makeup and functions of the P25 Steering Committee please refer to the Bylaws.
User Needs Subcommittee (UNS)
The User Needs Subcommittee (UNS) is a permanent subcommittee to the Project 25 Steering Committee under the Project 25 Bylaws. Membership in the UNS is open to a broad range of public safety users and user representatives and provides a forum whereby the public safety user community can discuss needs and provide feedback with respect to Project 25 capabilities and functionally. The UNS provides this input to the Project 25 Steering Committee and also provides an opportunity for improved user education and information-sharing. The UNS is a non-quorum advisory group to the Project 25 Steering Committee, which allows for a more open meeting structure and broad participation from across the user community.
Other Helpful Resources
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
CISA plays a key role in ensuring federal, state, local, tribal and territorial agencies have the necessary plans, resources, and training needed to support operable and advanced interoperable emergency communications.
- CISA and P25: CISA participates on the P25 Steering Committee. The P25 Steering Committee maintains a User Needs Subcommittee, which is the primary source for user input into P25 standards.
- Link: www.cisa.gov/emergency-communications
DHS S&T Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC)
S&T's OIC plays a key role in support of public safety’s use of P25 radio systems.
- OIC and P25: OIC established the P25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP). P25 CAP is a partnership of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC), industry, and the emergency response community. P25 CAP is a formal, independent process for ensuring communications equipment declared by the supplier actually is P25 compliant and tested against the standards with publicly published results.
- Link: www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/p25-cap
Project 25 Technology Interest Group (PTIG)
This group promotes the success of Project 25 and educates interested parties on the benefits that the standard offers.
- PTIG and P25: PTIG is a group of individuals and organizations who share the mutual interest of advancing the refinement, development, deployment, and applications of the digital communications technology represented by Project 25 industry standards. PTIG members include two-way radio communications experts, public safety professionals, and equipment manufacturers. PTIG members recognize the need for, and have a direct stake in, the continued development of the critical communications capabilities represented in the P25 standards.
- Link: http://www.project25.org
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)
TIA is the leading trade association representing the global information and communications technology industry through standards development, policy initiatives, business opportunities, market intelligence and networking events. TIA is a Standards Development Organization (SDO) and is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
- TIA and P25:
- The TIA-TR-8 Mobile and Personal Private Radio Standards Committee develops and publishes the TIA-102 Standard, which is then adopted by the P25 Steering Committee as the Project 25 Standard.
- TIA maintains engineering subcommittees to develop and update P25/TIA-102 standards.
- TIA develops standardized test procedures for P25/TIA-102 standards, which are then referenced in Recommended Compliance Assessment Tests (RCATs) documents. The P25 CAP Compliance Assessment Bulletins (CABs) use the test procedures published by TIA for P25 CAP testing. Having defined test procedures to help validate whether P25 equipment meets the standard is important. However, it should be noted that not all published P25 standards are tested.
- Link: https://www.tiaonline.org/standards-committees/tr-8
SAFECOM Grant Guidance
Updated annually to provide current information on emergency communications policies, eligible costs, best practices, and technical standards for state, local, tribal, and territorial grantees investing federal funds in emergency communications projects. This is a particularly useful resource for the best practices it provides around purchasing emergency communications capabilities, like land mobile radios. To improve interoperability across investments, grantees are strongly encouraged to ensure that digital voice systems and equipment purchased with federal grant funds are compliant with the P25 suite of standards, unless otherwise noted in a program’s grant guidance. Grantees should purchase P25 compliant systems and equipment in accordance with the P25 Compliance Assessment Program.