New International Governmental Forum to Focus on Key Issues Facing Critical Communications Operators

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

Security and cyber threats in broadband environments, hybrid networks and devices seen as key topics

A new initiative to advance coordination among national critical communications operators has been launched with the formation of the International Governmental Operators’ Forum (IGOF). The inaugural conference took place in parallel with TCCA’s 2019 Critical Communications Europe event in Coventry, UK.

Some 35 participants from 19 public administrations of 17 countries gathered to discuss the most important challenges facing the critical communications operator community, with the aim of leveraging opportunities to define and implement a common and coordinated approach towards addressing the issues. The IGOF kick-off meeting was organised by TCCA members BDBOS from Germany and Finland’s Virve, with support from TCCA.

IGOF is an independent and informal group of high-level leaders of public critical communications organisations from all over the world. IGOF will serve as an advisory committee to TCCA and other interested parties on broadband-related issues in critical communications. This new TCCA initiative will help to raise the visibility of governmental users of critical communications in the market, and reinforce their influence. “TCCA is proud to support the activities of IGOF and looks forward to working closely with its members to help drive advances in international critical communications,“ said Tony Gray, TCCA chief executive.

The first meeting included updates from France, Romania, the UK and the USA on the latest developments in their critical communications activities.

As a result of these updates and wider discussions at the event, the main areas of focus for IGOF have been agreed. Security in broadband environments has the highest priority for the group with special focus on hybrid networks and devices as well as cyber threats. IGOF members expect their forum to facilitate the exchange of information and experience with their peers, critical communications users, industry and other interested parties. The group will also aim to offer support and consultancy to TCCA and other interested organisations on broadband-related issues in critical communications regarding legal and regulatory environments. Future technologies such as artificial intelligence and 5G network slicing will be another main topic addressed by IGOF.

The group will meet again at the FirstNet leadership forum in Boulder, Colorado.