National Public Health Radio Network (NPHRN)
The National Public Health Radio Network (NPHRN) is a collaborative initiative between CDC's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR) and the Division of Emergency Operations (DEO). As a support element of the National Response Framework (NRF), the NPHRN will provide CDC, state, territorial, and local health departments with non-infrastructure dependent redundant communications capability – a "back up" method of communication when all else fails.
The network utilizes specific Federal frequencies within the High Frequency (HF) spectrum to provide CDC and the 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Pacific Island Jurisdictions (American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia), and major city and county health departments with a wireless redundant communications capacity. When participating in the NPHRN, CDC and public health partners will have the capability to transmit and receive vital information in the event that traditional infrastructure dependent communication media (telephone, internet, and cellular) are damaged, overloaded, or destroyed thus preventing effective and reliable communication. Specifically, the NPHRN will permit CDC and state, territorial, local public health departments to:
- Provide back-up/redundant communications capacity with state and Federal agencies and a wide range of other responders during an emergency.
- Ensure reliable long range two-way communications in times of crises.
- Provide additional methods to gather health related event intelligence and situational awareness.
- Enable public health stakeholders’ access to redundant/encrypted (non-classified) wireless communications with public health partners/state, local EOCs.
- Enable public health partners to participate in National, State and Local Disaster Coordination.
- Enable CDC and partners to provide assistance to and receive assistance from other radio networks – (i.e., FEMA's National Emergency Coordination Network (NECN), State OPSECURE networks, National Guard), and Non-Government Organizations (Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc.).
- Enable CDC and partners to participate in regular training and exercises to maintain operator proficiency.
In order to participate in the NPHRN, all HF radios must be compliant with National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) standards and certified by the Department of Defense (DOD) Joint Interoperability Test Command (JTIC) as compliant with MIL-STD-188-141B for Automatic Link Establishment (ALE) operation. Although clear voice communications will remain as an option, the network is implementing digital voice and Micom Mail with AES encryption to meet current requirements. Upon the installation of the standards compliant radios, CDC will issue the specific grantee a “Federal Call Sign” that will permit the grantee to operate within the NPHRN.
Because of possible antenna and/or space restrictions, HF radio stations can be fixed, mobile and/or portable. The preference is a fixed station.
While planning the acquisition and installation of your HF radio, we recommend that you contact the NPHRN Program Manager at the address on the bottom of this page for guidance.
For additional information on these standards and for a listing of compliant HF radios, please visit:
CDC Point of Contact:
Michael L. Sapp
Manager, National Public Health Radio Network (NPHRN)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR)
Division of Emergency Operations (DEO)
1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
- Page last reviewed February 16, 2011
- Page last updated February 16, 2011
- Content source: Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response (OPHPR, formerly the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response [COTPER])