OASIS and ITU to demonstrate CAP communications system in Geneva

Published 11 October 2006

Common Alerting Protocol is gaining ground as international interoperability standard; National Weather Service and U.S. Geological Survey have already adopted the text-based system for daily use; conference in Geneva will include demonstrations and discussion with national and international communications authorities

Emergency communications interoperability has been prominent on the radar of must-fix problems since 9/11, and, as our longtime readers know, there is no shortage of suggestions of how to fix it. The problem is particularly acute at the international level, because technological barriers are compounded by language difficulties. The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP), released more than a year ago by the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), a group that works on e-business standards, tries to solve the problem by replacing traditional telephone and radio communication with text messaging.

Advocates of the protocol, including the non-profit Washington, D.C.-based Emergency Interoperability Consortium, say the key benefits of such a system include richer information streams, the ability to send messages simultaneously to multiple recipients, and interoperability with varying devices and even generations of devices that can help emergency workers from disparate agencies and jurisdictions work together on the fly. CAP is already in daily use by the National Weather Service and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Those interested in a live demonstration can meet up with OASIS and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) at the “Joint ITU-T / OASIS Workshop and Demonstration of Advances in ICT Standards for Public Warning,” to be held 19-20 October 2006 in Geneva. The event will include presentations from representatives of the European Commission Directorate General Information Society and Media, DHS, World Health Organization (WHO), and many national agencies from around the world.

-read more in this news release