organization to serve as a single point of contact for the NSEP activities of the seven regional companies. The organization, known today as Bell Communications Research (Bellcore), provides staff resources and technical assistance, and serves as an interface between the regional companies and the federal government. In March of 1982 NCS officials met with telecommunications industry leaders to consider approaches for joint industry-government planning for NSEP communications. The result was the establishment of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC) by Executive Order (EO) 12382 (Executive Office of the President, 1982). The purpose of the NSTAC is to advise the President and the Secretary of Defense (who is the Executive Agent for the NCS) on NSEP telecommunications matters.

This action was followed in 1983 by the issuance of National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 97 (Executive Office of the President, 1983), which replaced PD 53. NSDD 97 stated that the nation’s domestic and international telecommunications resources are essential elements of U.S. national security policy and strategy, and that a survivable telecommunications infrastructure able to support national security leadership is a crucial element of U.S. deterrence. It went on to establish a steering group to oversee implementation and assigned specific responsibilities to the Manager of NCS, NSTAC, and federal departments and agencies.

In 1984, EO 12472 consolidated the assignment of NSEP telecommunications functions (Executive Office of the President, 1984). It provided a framework for planning, developing, and exercising federal government NSEP communications measures. It also established a means for providing advice and assistance to state and local governments, private industry, and volunteer organizations regarding their NSEP communications needs.

An early recommendation of the NSTAC was to establish a joint industry government coordinating center to assist in the initiation and restoration of NSEP telecommunications. The National Coordinating Center was established in January 1984 and has operated continuously since that time.

A related, and still ongoing, activity is the establishment of the Telecommunications Service Priority system. Recently approved by the Federal Communications Commission, it provides the regulatory, administrative, and operational system for authorizing and providing priority treatment of NSEP telecommunications services.

Finally, in December 1985, NSDD 201 was issued to ensure the

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