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Comms Connect Conference and Exhibition Focus on the Mission Critical Public Safety Communications.

The Comms Connect Conference and Exhibition held in Melbourne last month saw the continuing development of its strong focus on the mission critical public safety communications ecosystem in both pre-Conference Workshops and a dedicated Conference Stream for Public Safety and Emergency Management.  The Comms Connect Conference also continued its collaboration with the Association and our annual industry dinner providing the opportunity for conference delegates to continue networking and join with ARCIA in celebrating its 10 year anniversary.

The Comms Connect Conference continues to attract a wide range of international experts to discuss progress with providing a Public Safety Mobile Broadband (PSMB) capability for Public Safety Agencies in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Europe.  A “closed door” session on PSMB facilitated by ARCIA provided a unique opportunity for public safety agency representatives from Commonwealth, State and Territory governments to have discussions with the international representatives about the lessons learned to date from their respective PSMB projects.

The Comms Connect Conference provides the opportunity to identify key success factors in the continuing evolution of the mission critical public safety communications ecosystem by connecting high quality individual presentations and panel sessions across all three Conference Streams i.e.  Public Safety and Emergency Management, Industry and Technology.

These factors include the need for on-going conversation between the public safety community, government, industry and academia leveraging the ability to share information internationally necessary to build trusted relationships required to drive the significant shift in organisational culture to produce new business and service delivery models.  These models must meet community expectations of Public Safety Agencies and their First Responders ranging from business as usual, through emergency and disaster management to national security.  From a technical perspective, these new models will need to be underpinned by evidenced based research addressing the key issues of cyber security, open standards, operability and high quality mapping within a data driven environment capturing social as well as economic outcomes.

The Comms Connect Conference saw the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Disaster Management and Public Safety (CDMPS) release its new research strategy and Quixoticity launch a new Index to compare 10 countries in their use of critical communications.  Coincidentally both the CDMPS and Quixoticity adopted the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) to highlight the important role that critical communications must perform to assist in achieving these Goals.

Reinforcing the need for open transparent conversation and new models of engagement the Commonwealth Government chose the Comms Connect Conference to announce the imminent release of a Request for Information (RFI) for a PSMB capability for Australia’s Public Safety Agencies. The RFI aims to start a conversation with industry through a market engagement exercise to provide advice to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in February 2018.

The 2018 CommsConnect Conferences will continue to be the place to have conversations about the evolution of the mission critical public safety communications ecosystem; the challenges that need to be faced and the exciting opportunities that must be captured through new innovation and research based business and service delivery models.