P25 Organizational Overview

Project 25 (P25) has more than a twenty-five-year history of developing standards to improve public safety LMR interoperability. P25 was prompted by issues that public safety agencies had with the incompatibility of trunking systems, as well as secure voice systems, supplied by the major vendors in the 1980’s time frame. With the approach of digital communications and spectrum efficiency driven by the FCC, the public safety community wanted to ensure new public safety emerging technologies were developed under user-driven, interoperable and open standards that would meet their needs as well as FCC requirements.

Major public safety associations banded together to support P25 under a cooperative negotiation process developed by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International, Inc (APCO), which sequentially was numbered Project 25. Following an initial meeting in September 1989, the Project 25 Steering Committee was formed in 1990 in accordance with an agreement among APCO, the National Association of State Telecommunications Directors (NASTD) and agencies of the Federal Government (a.k.a., the APCO/NASTD/FED agreement).

P25 has involved principally four elements of process and organization: (1) Public Safety user-input and Public Safety user/vendor mediation functions through the P25 Steering Committee, and a User Needs Subcommittee (P25 UNS), which is responsible for maintaining the Project 25 Statement of Requirements (P25 SoR); (2) the APCO P25 Interface Committee (APIC) that is comprised of users and manufacturers working together in the drafting of interoperable standards; (3) vendor-driven standards development function via the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) TR-8 organization (TIA TR-8) and (4) the Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP) is managed under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by the Science & Technology (S&T) Directorate and coordinated by the Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC).

APCO has performed a coordinative role in the P25 program since its inception and served as the project director for nearly two decades. Federal grant support for P25 project management had been provided under the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) until grant support lapsed at the end of the 2010 year. Grant support for (minus reimbursement for user travel to TIA/P25 meetings) was resumed in the fall of 2014 under the DHS OIC.

Project 25 Organizational Diagram

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