United States, Mexico Announce Agreement For Cross-Border Public Security Communications Network

The Departments of Homeland Security and State announced recently that senior officials on the United States-Mexico High-Level Consultative Commission on Telecommunications (HLCC) have signed a bilateral telecommunications agreement to support a new cross border communications network for public safety and law enforcement organizations focused on strengthening border security.

The agreement establishes a bilateral working group through which the Department of Homeland Security of the United States and the Secretariat of Public Security (SSP) of Mexico will coordinate the installation and operation of the network. The new network will allow participating public safety organizations to coordinate incident response and cooperate on a broad array of law enforcement activities through the establishment of new cross border voice, data and video channels.

The agreement also provides radio interference protection for the network’s infrastructure and a process under which the bilateral working group can establish interoperable communications for qualifying federal, state, local and tribal public safety and law enforcement organizations that are invited to participate in the network.

The senior HLCC officials who signed the agreement were: Ambassador Philip L. Verveer, U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, U.S. Department of State; Ms. Gabriela Hernandez Cardoso, Mexico’s Under Secretary of Communications; and Under Secretary Jose Francisco Niembro Gonzalez, Mexico’s Under Secretary of Institutional Development and Evaluation in the SSP.

Negotiation of the agreement stemmed from a recommendation by HLCC working level officials in May 2008 to formulate a long-term plan to advance critical cross border communications networks for improving border security and combating border violence.

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