In testimony yesterday, Dr. David Boyd, Director of Command, Control and Interoperability Division of the DHS S&T Directorate, explained that an effective national network for interoperable communications need not connect every first responder in San Diego to every first responder in Miami. The tactical and operational needs of different communities are too diverse to be encompassed by any single system. “A system of systems is the only viable solution for the next two decades,” he told the House Appropriations Homeland Security subcommittee.
Developing and implementing standards that will ensure effective linkage within this system of systems would produce three benefits according to Boyd:
1. Allow the system of systems to be built on the back of exisiting investments and networks, potentially saving substantial time and money.
2. Allow the system of systems to reflect very real, sometimes daunting, differences in local geography, structural density, and other crucial variabilities.
3. Eliminate the risk of a single point of failure that a monolithic national system would probably entail.
Dr. Boyd’s prepared testimony is available. The prepared testimony of others who were testifying is also available at the Committee website. Boyd’s comments were the only part of the webcast I was able to catch.