Voip Critical To U.S .Security Says Former Dhs Chief
Internet Telephony Conference keynote speaker and former Secretary of U.S. Homeland Security Tom Ridge says that a governmental Voice over IP (VoIP) network is critical to the country’s ability to respond to natural disasters or terrorist attacks.
“I think that with VoIP, given its multiple applications and the ubiquitously of the Internet, you have a place that you can aggregate different kinds of data from different sources and make it available to first responders [of emergencies],” he stated. “It’s the way we need to go in the future.”
Ridge said combining a national governmental VoIP network with geolocation technology would aid emergency workers in the location of people, while VoIP would also be a valuable tool for warning the public of imminent catastrophe. He noted how New Orleans’ emergency response command center relied heavily on VoIP to offset the loss of satellite phones, landlines, and cell phone towers when Hurricane Katrina struck last year.
Ridge said both national and international emergency 911 systems need to be upgraded to VoIP. He did not have an answer on how soon congressional VoIP deployment mandates would be passed, given the “glacial” pace of legislation in the country.
Critical to the passage of such regulations is continuous pressure on the VoIP industry and its education of local governments on VoIP issues.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Computer Business Review (01/27/06); Ascierto, Rhonda .