Following the divestiture of the AT&T monopoly in 1982, the National Coordinating Center for Telecommunications (now the National Coordinating Center for Communications (NCC or NCC Watch) was created by Executive Order 12472. It was a joint telecommunications industry/Federal operation established by the "National Communications System" to assist in the initiation, coordination, restoration, and reconstitution of National Security and Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) telecommunications services or facilities.
The NCC's industry and government representatives' specific functions included:
- advising executives and senior officials (President, National Security Council, Homeland Security Council, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), and OMB)
- maintaining points of contact with the parent organizations
- coordinating and directing prompt restoration of telecommunications services in support of national security and emergency preparedness needs during crises such as natural disasters or war, and
- producing emergency response plans and procedures as a result of lessons learned during actual events.
In 1998, the NCC's mission was expanded to include the development of an IAW capability. The NCC conducted a 120-day trial of the IAW Center pilot in 1998. The IAW Center pilot focused on the reporting of "cyber"-related activities that deviated from a company or agency's normal thresholds of operational activity. Following the IAW Center pilot, the NCC decided to fully incorporate the IAW function into its operations.
In 1999, the NCC, along with the ITU Year 2000 Task Force, set up a Year 2000 Early Warning System Watch, which tracked Y2K through the millennium rollover. In June 1999, the NSTAC concluded that the NCC today performs the primary functions of an ISAC for the telecommunications sector as outlined in PDD-63.
On January 18, 2000, the NCC was recognized by the President's National Security Council as the information sharing and analysis center (ISAC) for the telecommunications sector. The NCC-ISAC was one of the first two ISACs to be recognized by the Federal Government.
The NCC-ISAC is responsible for facilitating the exchange of information among government and industry participants regarding computer-based vulnerability, threat, and intrusion information affecting the telecommunications infrastructure. Also, it analyzes data received from telecommunications industry members, government, and other sources to avoid or lessen the impact of a crisis affecting the telecommunications infrastructure.
Since its recognition as an ISAC, NCC-ISAC membership has expanded beyond traditional telecommunications entities, such as telephone companies, to include other technology companies involved in the telecommunications infrastructure.
On November 2, 2009, the NCC was merged into the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC).
- In 1982, the National Communications System was established by executive order as a federal interagency group responsible for the national security and emergency preparedness telecommunications. These responsibilities included planning for, developing, and implementing enhancements to the national telecommunications infrastructure, which includes the Internet, to achieve effectiveness in managing and using national telecommunication resources to support the federal government during any emergency.