Co-founded by Q-Free alum Tom Stiles and Trisha Tunilla in November 2019, FREEtheMIBS is an advocacy campaign that aims to ‘open’ proprietorial management information bases (MIBs) in the North American ITS device market. “We believe open communication protocols increase competition and promote innovation, a win-win for customers and communities,” Tunilla said. “Similar actions have been met with great success in Europe and other international markets, it’s time we catch up.”
In its first year, the FREEtheMIBS campaign quickly grew to include members from across the ITS spectrum – agencies, consultants, dealers, vendors, and academia. Together, the more than 50 individual and corporate advocates, have united to help customers fully embrace the goal of the United States National Transportation Communications for Intelligent Transportation System Protocol (NTCIP):
“NTCIP is the first set of standards for the [North American] transportation industry that allows traffic control systems to be built using a “mix and match” approach with equipment from different manufacturers.“
As the FREEtheMIBs celebrates a wild year of growth, advocacy and increasing influence, two prominent new members joined the campaign; Rapid Flow Technologies, the Pennsylvania-based developer of Surtrac adaptive traffic signal control, and ITS distributor, Mid American Signal.
Stiles says the pace of the campaign continues to accelerate. “We’re very aware that many advocacy organizations hit a sophomore slowdown, but this campaign is doing the opposite,” he said. “I believe people understand this is a right side of history moment and something that can fundamentally change the way our industry operates, and its practitioners interact.”
Bill Droessler, president of FREEtheMIBS newest backer, Mid American Signal said, “Many vendors do not want other solution providers to be able to fully interact with their products, essentially handicapping an agency’s ability to select the best possible solutions to address their needs.”
This sentiment is widespread across the North American traffic industry. This goes right in the face of Q-Free’s philosophy of collaboration, innovation, and doing what’s best for the greater good.
Stiles concluded, “Our first anniversary is an important moment, but I feel like we’re just getting out of the gate. I am excited about all we’ve accomplished, and equally confident even bigger things are ahead.”
Learn more and join the cause at FREEtheMIBS.org.
Tom Stiles, P.E. PTOE is Executive Vice President of ATMS Solutions for Q-Free
Trisha Tunilla is Executive Vice President of Marketing for Q-Free America