Temporary National Coordination Office
In May 2018, Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Ministers Responsible for Emergency Management collectively acknowledged the benefits of a Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN) and endorsed the establishment of a Temporary National Coordination Office (TNCO) to guide the work on a PSBN for a total of two years. The TNCO was comprised of representatives from Public Safety Canada, other government departments, Provincial/Territorial jurisdictions, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Tri-Services (police, paramedics and firefighters) associations, and other potential PSBN user groups. Specifically, the following departments, jurisdictions and associations were members of the TNCO (in alphabetical order):
- British Columbia
- Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs
- Canadian Association of Police Chiefs
- Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science
- Federation of Canadian Municipalities
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
- National Defence
- New Brunswick
- Nova Scotia
- Paramedic Chiefs of Canada
- Public Safety Canada
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Established in July 2018, the TNCO developed national options and recommendations on a future PSBN for Canada, supported by research, analysis, and engagement with PSBN stakeholders. Specifically, the office:
- Served as a single point of contact for stakeholders on national PSBN work, including the private sector;
- Engaged diverse stakeholders to gather perspectives to support the development of recommendations;
- Established and maintained a network of researchers and experts, and provided national leadership for PSBN pilots and trials to inform and support TNCO work objectives;
- Developed and recommended:
- A PSBN Strategy for Canada that operationalizes the FPT Ministers’ endorsed guiding considerations;
- Further developed and operationalized approaches for business models and permanent national governance;
- Deployment options for a national and interoperable PSBN;
- National PSBN standards and requirements (e.g. interoperability, security, priority and pre-emption); and,
- Innovative solutions to address coverage gaps and capacity challenges.
Played a leadership role in the advancement of a national and interoperable PSBN for Canada.
Policy and Outreach
- Engaged with diverse stakeholders
- Communicated with stakeholders on TNCO progress
- Led the drafting of a report on a Canadian PSBN
Research and Development
- Developed and recommended a national PSBN statement on requirements
- Suggested solutions to address coverage challenges
- Gathered information on PSBN-related trials and pilots
- Developed recommendations for permanent national governance, including business models
- Recommended deployment options for a national and interoperable PSBN
Public Safety Broadband Network Storyline
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) (then Industry Canada) designated 10 MHz of the 700 MHz spectrum for public safety broadband communications.
In Budget 2015, the Government of Canada (GoC) committed funds “to take initial steps to establish a PSBN” and announced the designation of the additional 10 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum for public safety broadband use.
FPT Ministers Responsible for Emergency Management committed to accelerated stakeholder engagement on implementation of a PSBN.
The GoC announced a commitment of $3 million in 2017-18 to engage diverse stakeholders as well as to gather and analyze evidence pertaining to PSBN implementation models.
ISED issued a decision paper confirming the allocation of 20 MHz of the 700 MHz spectrum for public safety use.
Subsequent to that confirmation, ISED issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking ICT/ telecom industry perspectives on a viable business model; governance model; and, ecosystem of applications, services and devices, to inform the GoC’s approach to a PSBN for Canada. The RFI closed in January 2018.
FPT Ministers Responsible for Emergency Management collectively acknowledged the benefits of a PSBN and endorsed the standing-up of a Temporary National Coordination Office (TNCO) to guide the work on a PSBN for the next two years.
The TNCO became operational and held its first face-to-face meeting in Ottawa, Ontario. Subsequent face-to-face meetings were scheduled to occur quarterly.
The TNCO release: Progress Report on a National Public Safety Broadband Network.
Completion of the TNCO’s two-year mandate.
The TNCO release: A Public Safety Broadband Network for Canada: A Canadian Approach to Implementation of the Next Generation of Public Safety Communications following a presentation to FPT Ministers Responsible for Emergency Management.
Stakeholder engagement was an ongoing and key consideration for TNCO. The TNCO recognized that the development and implementation of a Canadian PSBN is an important yet significant undertaking that requires the collective efforts and commitment of all levels of government, public safety communities across Canada, and various private industry stakeholders. The TNCO engaged stakeholders to ensure they had an opportunity to share their views and suggestions throughout the process to ultimately present a consolidated view of a PSBN for Canada. The TNCO engaged provinces and territories, municipalities, tri-services associations, industry, critical infrastructure operators, academia, non-governmental organizations and Indigenous community representatives.
The TNCO engaged: provinces and territories, municipalities, tri-services associations, industry, critical infrastructure operators, academia, non-governmental organizations and Indigenous community representatives.
On June 28, 2019, the TNCO published a Progress Report on a National Public Safety Broadband Network to share information with stakeholders on the work accomplished to date to advance a PSBN for Canada.
On March 17, 2022, the TNCO published a final report, A Public Safety Broadband Network for Canada: A Canadian Approach to Implementation of the Next Generation of Public Safety Communications, following a presentation to FPT Ministers Responsible for Emergency Management. The final report includes the TNCO’s recommended approach for the development of a nationwide and interoperable PSBN that meets the needs of the public safety community. The TNCO developed national options and recommendations on a future PSBN for Canada, supported by research, analysis, and engagement with key stakeholders. Their recommendations include:
- a national governance approach;
- guiding principles;
- service delivery;
- innovative solutions to addressing coverage gaps and capacity challenges; and
- next steps for advancing a PSBN.
The TNCO has completed its two-year mandate to develop a national approach to advance a Canadian PSBN, an initiative that has been in discussion for several years.
The transition to a PSBN will be complex and will require all levels of government to support its development. Continued collaboration among all levels of government, industry and end users is essential to develop a network that meets the diverse expectations and interests of stakeholders.
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