APCO Project 25 is a U.S. centric, industry-wide effort led by The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials - International, Inc. (APCO International) to set recommended voluntary standards of uniform digital two-way radio technology for public safety organizations. As these standards now extend beyond just APCO members, they are often referred to as Project 25.|
APCO 25 is co-chaired by APCO International and the National Association of State Telecommunications Directors (NASTD). The steering committee, which makes the decisions, consists of APCO International and NASTD representatives, along with federal representatives from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), National Communications System (NCS), and the Department of Defense (DoD). The steering committee is supported by several subcommittees that research specialized areas.
Key objectives of APCO Project 25 include:
- providing enhanced functionality with equipment and capabilities focused on public safety needs.
- improving spectrum efficiency.
- ensuring competition among multiple vendors through Open Systems Architecture.
- allowing effective, efficient, and reliable intra-agency and inter-agency communications.
- backward compatibility with standard analog FM radios, to support an orderly migration into mixed analog and digital systems.
In November 1993, the APCO Project 25 Steering Committee accepted the TIA-recommended Common Air Interface Standard document, and defined interfaces for the data port, data host, inter-connect, network management, and inter-system interfaces. The final documents establishing the APCO 25 Standard were approved and signed in August 1995. The APCO 25 Standards are in the process of being approved by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The United States Government is in the process of accepting and approving the APCO 25 Standards for its agencies.
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