National Capital Region (NCR)
In 2005, the NCR (National Capital Region) Interoperability Program (NCRIP), a regional initiative, was established by the local governments of the NCR to create digital networks and systems interoperability for public safety and emergency response. As part of this effort, a project called NCRnet was established to assist the local governments with interconnecting their institutional networks (I-Nets). In doing so, the project provides a survivable infrastructure, complementing communications over the internet and leased lines, linking Maryland, Virginia and DC local NCR jurisdictions together for the benefit of first responders and other local government officials both in regional emergencies and in routine operations.
The NCRnet project, now part of NCR ICI (Interoperable Communications Infrastructure), provides network infrastructure to the participant jurisdictions to enable secure, non-commercial, local government-controlled access to Regional Systems and Applications. NCRnet was created to enhance Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) ability to succeed in their mission of building and sustaining an integrated effort to prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from all-hazards, threats or events.
Benefits to the Emergency Responder Community
Jurisdictions achieve the following benefits as a result of leveraging the NCRnet architecture:
- Private fiber interconnection network, independent from public networks, controlled by local jurisdictions
- Interconnection between jurisdictional infrastructures leverage existing I-Nets investments and help desk processes
- Enables secure, enhanced and robust regional interoperable of data, video and voice communications over a high-capacity fiber optic network
- Private and controlled network with intrusion detection and packet inspection tools enables a higher level of security
- Any application already hosted and transported on a jurisdictional network connected to NCRnet is a candidate for cross-jurisdictional exchange
- 24x7 NCRnet monitoring, operations, support and alerting to interconnected parties
- Ability to support network failover capability for critical applications with access to alternate transport mechanisms utilizing NCRnet’s DNS services
- MPLS technology allows separation and prioritization of network traffic for different categories of applications and according to needs
Activated connections as of January, 2013:
In addition, NCRnet peers with NetworkMaryland and is capable of interconnecting with all agencies connecting with NetworkMaryland
Enabling Regional Interoperability
NCRnet’s goal is to provide a secure, reliable, and scalable IT communication infrastructure that enhances Public Safety and Government agencies interoperable communications capabilities in the NCR.
A number of Regional systems and applications are currently using NCRnet. The CADtoCAD Data Exchange between Fairfax County, Arlington County, City of Alexandria, and City of Fairfax allows for mutual resource sharing and dispatch between the Fire Departments of those jurisdictions.
The License Plate Reader enables Federates searches for NCR Law Enforcement participants in Arlington, Loudoun and Prince George’s, Prince William Counties as well as:
- City of Fairfax
- Falls Church
Mobile AFIS allows law enforcement in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties to perform Fingerprint identification using NCRnet -Capability soon to be available for others like Loudoun County Police Department.
NCR Geospatial Data Exchange
The NCR Geospatial Data Exchange (NCR GDX) system serves as a brokerage of Geospatial and data feeds to be securely exchanged among multiple participants at the Local, State and Federal level the MD Index system provides a Situational Awareness by allowing the exchange of Geospatial Police and Fire Incidents between Frederick, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties County, the CCTV traffic camera feed Pilot and framework enables real time access to camera feeds from various Transportation departments in the District, Maryland, Prince George’s, WMATA and in the near future Virginia the NCR Video Conferencing System -sponsored by the Emergency Managers in the NCR, facilitates collaboration and communication for multidisciplinary practitioners, EOC staff and decision makers at the executive level other applications such as WebEOC server exchanges, Regional AFIS, Mugshots, and Mobile AFIS are in planning phase to leverage NCRnet for secure and robust Regional network connectivity.