VoIP — Critical to Homeland Security and Public Safety

IN A POST-9/11 WORLD, accelerating the transition to VoIP both within the government and out can have enormous homeland security benefits.

The ability to use a VoIP over any network from any location could let government workers communicate in geographically dispersed locations in the event of a major attack, even if offices are inaccessible. Federal workers using VoIP phones could immediately work from home or other broadband enabled locations — improving continuity of government.

Commerce Department: Delivering Warnings in an Emergency

The U.S. Commerce Department switched to VoIP for a better emergency broadcast system. Commerce Department VoIP phones allow officials to deliver targeted warnings in an emergency by department — a reverse 9-1-1. And because they are also able to deliver the warnings in text and with flashing lights, even deaf users can be warned.

Defense Department: Fighting Terrorists

The Department of Defense is using VoIP in Iraq and Afghanistan to move communication onto their own more secure networks and for rapid deployment to be more nimble and mobile in times of war. DoD has more than 130 VoIP networks worldwide and is considering a transition agencywide. The Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) move to VoIP allows them to migrate voice traffic from a network managed by a private company to a private network under total Defense Department control.

Iraqi Police: Fighting Insurgents

The US military has rolled out a VoIP network for the Iraqi police that uses a satellite-based network. This is the only fully functioning Iraqi national command and control network. The VoIP phones and VSAT network were the fastest way to get a network up and running after the toppling of Saddam Hussein by Coalition forces. This VoIP/VSAT network is expected to be used by Iraqi security personnel in various jobs. It enabled calls to be encrypted for secure communications.

EPA: Quick Recovery in An Environmental Disaster

The Environmental Protection Agency is using VoIP for its Disaster Recovery Center. In an emergency, VoIP lets you relocate phones on the fly. EPA chose VoIP as a cost-efficient disaster recovery system. They needed voice and data at a remote Disaster Recovery Center. They found that deploying VoIP in a normally unmanned building was more cost effective — because implementing a separate voice and data network was expensive and would rarely be used — but it also allowed users to relocate phones on any data network.

Herndon: Helping Find Missing Children

The Government in Herndon, VA is using a VoIP system that enables them to broadcast the face of a missing child on all phones.

The Nation’s Aircraft Carriers All Use VoIP

The Navy has implemented VoIP on all of its active aircraft carriers. VoIP is also supporting a new US Naval Network Operations Center.

Creating a VoIP Driven Next Generation 911 Network

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is launching a Next Generation 9-1-1 project to define the system architecture and develop a transition plan for deploying an IP-based 9-1-1 emergency network across the US. Public Safety leaders say taking advantage of VoIP’s nomadic capabilities and ability to converge voice and data can lead to new advances in emergency communications.

Arizona: Saving Money, Boosting Security, and Making Government More Responsive

For Arizona’s state agencies, moving from antiquated phone systems to a converged voice over IP network wasn’t merely a good idea, it was the law. They did it to save taxpayer money, of course. But along the way, the state discovered that a converged network not only increases efficiency, it can also boost security. With the old system, fire or police departments who responded to a 911 call, had no way to pinpoint the office from which the call was made. Now their VoIP system automatically identifies the extension, room number and floor, and then notifies capitol security personnel via cell phone or pager.