For the last 12 months, TIA has been busy with members developing and updating critical industry standards, helping advance connected technologies and advocating on behalf of the global ICT industry that is connecting more people around the world with safe, reliable high-speed broadband.
From launching the first-of-it’s-kind ICT supply chain security standard, SCS 9001, to helping U.S. organizations navigate new funding opportunities from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program, TIA has accelerated an agenda that seeks to better our connected world in many different ways.
New Standards to Help Protect Global Networks
In January, TIA launched SCS 9001—an ICT-specific business process standard for cyber and supply chain security. More than just a standard, SCS 9001 helps organizations verify trusted ICT manufacturers and suppliers, including software and hardware to address the modern threat landscape for businesses, governments, and consumers.
Developed by TIA QuEST Forum’s Supply Chain Security Working Group, the standard provides guidance for key components of supply chain security, including:
- Secure software development
- Validation methods for ensuring software ID and source traceability
- Product development security
- Governmental requirements on source of origin and transparency of internal controls
SCS 9001 wasn’t the only new standard initiative TIA launched this year. Members of TIA also established a new standard committee, TR-60, to develop standardization for enterprise ICT lifecycle management for the planning, documentation, design, remediation and operation of ICT systems, infrastructure and services. Learn more in this position paper.
Updates to Technical and Infrastructure Standards
Many of TIA’s engineering committees returned to in-person meetings this year. The timing could not have been better as multiple committees officially opened several important technical standards for revision as part of their ANSI-required 5-year revisionary period.
- TR-42: TIA-942 – In March, TIA opened the telecommunications infrastructure standard for data centers to address new smaller and modular edge data centers. The current TIA-942-B Standard and it’s addendums is expected to be updated and published as TIA-942-C in 2023.
- TR-14: TIA-222 – For the first time since 2017, TIA opened for revision its standard that defines requirements for antenna supporting structures and towers to ensure they meet the needs of modern communications systems can operate in various environmental conditions like wind, snow, and ice. Part of the revision is expected to include the use of new drone technology to help inspect and verify proper installations. The use of drones is already widely in use today to reduce risk and improve operational efficiency.
- TR-41: TIA-5050 – TIA is also updating its standards for “Performance and Accessibility for Communications Products” within our TR-41 standards engineering committee. The committee is focused on updating standards that enable mobile devices to be compatible with hearing aid devices.
Guiding Organizations Toward Opportunity
TIA’s Government Affairs team had a very busy year advocating on behalf of members to both U.S. and international regulatory bodies. TIA helped lead an effort to relax the new “Buy America” requirements for sourcing ICT network components by demonstrating how the lack of U.S. chip manufacturers would make meeting the specified threshold requirements impossible for several years.
As a result of the Biden Administration’s 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), NTIA is rolling out its $42B+ BEAD Program, designed to close the digital divide across the U.S. and its territories. But with that opportunity comes a big responsibility. Directions provided in NTIA’s notice of funding opportunities (NOFO) set new baseline requirements for plans to address cybersecurity and supply-chain risk management (SCRM) business practices.
TIA, through its SCS 9001 supply chain standard, has produced a comprehensive, industry-driven option to align with these new requirements. With sophisticated adversaries targeting networks through global supply chains, it’s imperative that states ensure security is present throughout their networks and not added on later.
As 2022 came to an end, Congress agreed on a 2023 Omnibus Spending Bill of over $1.7 trillion but left out critical funding that was needed to complete the Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program. The program, which was partially funded in 2020, needed $3.08 billion to complete the effort to remove all Chinese telecom equipment known to pose national security risks. TIA CEO David Stehlin commented on the importance of completing the program which has had bipartisan support since the program’s inception.
Looking to the Future
TIA Technology Programs saw exciting growth and advancements in 2022 as both Smart Buildings and Data Centers are sectors that continue undergoing rapid innovation and evolution. TIA is working on behalf of its members to facilitate a common ground for all players in the global ecosystem to collaborate and drive collective progress forward as an industry.
TIA Smart Buildings Program Working Group maintains the assessment criteria for SPIRE™ Smart Buildings Assessment and Rating Program by UL Solutions. This year, new SPIRE verifications made headlines as commercial real estate leaders found tangible value in using the program to help shape future investment and improve occupant satisfaction and technology ROI.
2022 was also a great year for the Data Center Program as TIA saw a record number of TIA-942 Data Center Certifications earned this year. With 5G networks deploying globally, the infrastructure supporting these critical networks must be resilient and the ICT companies in countries around the world are turning to TIA-942 as the only accredited industry standard for ensuring data center infrastructure is resilient and can be trusted. TIA recently hosted a webinar in Spanish to educate industry professionals across Latin America on the standard and how it serves data center stakeholders, including owners, operators, customers, and end users.
Ready for 2023
In 2022, TIA held two important and timely virtual events featuring discussions with global industry and government leaders. In June, TIA’s Annual Member Meeting and Global Conference featured speakers like NTIA Administrator, Alan Davidson; AT&T Network EVP, Chris Sambar; and ITU Secretary-General Elect, Doreen Bogdan-Martin. At TIA QuEST Forum’s Trusted Network Summit in November, attendees heard from NIST Director, Dr. Laurie Locascio; Colt CEO, Keri Gilder; and Nokia Mobile Networks CQO, Deepti Arora, among others.
All of this member-driven activity – the committee meetings, events, webinars, blogs and white papers – has helped TIA restore its position in the global ICT industry and continue building towards its primary objective to be the trusted industry association for the connected world. As an accredited standards development organization (SDO) and the trade association that represents large and small manufacturers, suppliers, developers of ICT network technologies, TIA is in the unique position to address the significant industry challenges of tomorrow.
In the near term, TIA looks forward to publishing the next generation of critical ICT standards, helping industry organizations align with new regulatory environments, and continuing to help our members grow and build trust with customers and consumers around the world.