Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project
Priority Service Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY

Note:  The ability to give one set of traffic priority over another set of traffic is a significant issue in the Network Neutrality debate.

NCS Emergency Response / Emergency Alert

Telecommunications Service Priority

The Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP) Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program used to identify and prioritize telecommunication services that support national security or emergency preparedness (NS/EP) missions. Many ISPs use TSP status, for example, for their circuits to their NOC.  The TSP Program also provides a legal means for the telecommunications industry to provide preferential treatment to services enrolled in the program. To learn if you are eligible for TSP, please go to the TSP Website.

See also Wireless Priority Service

Internet Emergency Preference Scheme

IEPS webpage:  Recommendations E.106 was established by the International Telecommunication Union, Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), March 17, 2000.  Recommendation E.106 recognizes the requirement for priority communications among governmental, civil, and other essential users of public telecommunication services in crisis situations, such as earthquakes, severe storms, and floods.

IEPS will provide authorized users priority access to telecommunication services and priority processing of communications in support of recovery operations during emergency events.

Work has been initiated in the following industry technology and standards bodies to develop provisions for special handling of priority services to support critical communications in the emerging packet-based network environment:




"The Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) is a White House-directed emergency phone service provided by the National Communications System (NCS) in the Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection Division of the Department of Homeland Security. GETS supports federal, state, local, and tribal government, industry, and non-governmental organization (NGO) personnel in performing their National Security and Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) missions. GETS provides emergency access and priority processing in the local and long distance segments of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). It is intended to be used in an emergency or crisis situation when the PSTN is congested and the probability of completing a call over normal or other alternate telecommunication means has significantly decreased. - GETS Program Information "

    The Type of Service provides an indication of the abstract
parameters of the quality of service desired. These parameters are
to be used to guide the selection of the actual service parameters
when transmitting a datagram through a particular network. Several
networks offer service precedence, which somehow treats high
precedence traffic as more important than other traffic (generally
by accepting only traffic above a certain precedence at time of high
load). The major choice is a three way tradeoff between low-delay,
high-reliability, and high-throughput.

Bits 0-2: Precedence.
Bit 3: 0 = Normal Delay, 1 = Low Delay.
Bits 4: 0 = Normal Throughput, 1 = High Throughput.
Bits 5: 0 = Normal Reliability, 1 = High Reliability
Bit 6-7: Reserved for Future Use.

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
| | | | | | |
| PRECEDENCE | D | T | R | 0 | 0 |
| | | | | | |


111 - Network Control
110 - Internetwork Control
100 - Flash Override
011 - Flash
010 - Immediate
001 - Priority
000 - Routine

The use of the Delay, Throughput, and Reliability indications may
increase the cost (in some sense) of the service. In many networks
better performance for one of these parameters is coupled with worse
performance on another. Except for very unusual cases at most two
of these three indications should be set.

The type of service is used to specify the treatment of the datagram
during its transmission through the internet system. Example
mappings of the internet type of service to the actual service
provided on networks such as AUTODIN II, ARPANET, SATNET, and PRNET
is given in "Service Mappings" [8].

The Network Control precedence designation is intended to be used
within a network only. The actual use and control of that
designation is up to each network. The Internetwork Control
designation is intended for use by gateway control originators only.
If the actual use of these precedence designations is of concern to
a particular network, it is the responsibility of that network to
control the access to, and use of, those precedence designations.

Request For Comments:


Emergency communications issues


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