Join NPSTC at RCA in Orlando November 22-23, Learn Who Won the DeMello

Join NPSTC at the RCA ANNUAL BANQUET Friday and Saturday, November 22-23 in Orlando, FL, at the Peabody Hotel

Learn Who This Year’s DeMello Winner Is!

DeMello Award

DeMello Award

The Radio Club of America Awards Banquet is the premier event in the wireless industry.  A gathering together of members and non-members alike, the Awards Banquet is entertaining, social and special in its continuing effort to honor the contributors to the wireless industry. Held annually in November, the Awards Banquet provides the Radio Club a vital opportunity to give out awards and proper recognition to the foremost participants in the wireless industry.

The Radio Club of America Awards Banquet is the premier event in the wireless industry.  A gathering together of members and non-members alike, the Awards Banquet is entertaining, social and special in its continuing effort to honor the contributors to the wireless industry. Held annually in November, the Awards Banquet provides the Radio Club a vital opportunity to give out awards and proper recognition to the foremost participants in the wireless industry.

To register click here  or call (407) 284-1234.

The Richard DeMello Award is presented to one individual in public safety communications who has demonstrated the highest levels of personal and professional conduct and performance in the local, state, and national public safety communications arena.  Learn whose contributions have been numerous and have played an important role in the work NPSTC does to make public safety telecommunications better.

NPSTC Outreach News, October 4, 2013

npstc daily news header

The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) periodically publishes news of interest, including releases from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and links to articles from various trade publications.

Public Safety Volunteers Needed: NPSTC’s Broadband Working Group Creates Launch SoR Quantitative Requirements Task Team: In December of last year, NPSTC finalized a Public Safety Launch Requirements document that was delivered to FirstNet. Those requirements were qualitative in nature only – meaning they did not include any quantitative aspects.  This new initiative will review the Launch Statement of Requirements (SoR), and, where appropriate, add quantitative elements.

The first part of this effort will be a joint effort between public safety and industry.  As is consistent with NPSTC’s processes, the final document will be reviewed by a public safety only review team before being forwarded to the NPSTC Governing Board for approval and transmittal to FirstNet.  This new Task Group will begin meeting by teleconference in October.  If you are interested in participating, please Join to Participate by Tuesday, October 15, 2013.

The following links provided courtesy, Charley Bryson, NPSTC Outreach.

 October 2, 2013

With the shutdown of the federal government, FCC notices will be limited to below until the budgetary issues are resolved.  As can be noted in the first news release, the Commission is opening the 800 MHz interleaved channels for the submission of applications.  However, the ULS database is now closed preventing one from researching the potentially available frequencies.

IMPROVING THE RESILIENCY OF MOBILE WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS/RELIABILITY AND CONTINUITY OF COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS, INCLUDING BROADBAND TECHNOLOGIES.   Seeks comment on proposals to improve the transparency and resiliency of mobile wireless networks. (Dkt No.  13-239 11-60 ). Action by:  the Commission. Adopted:  09/26/2013 by NPRM. (FCC No. 13-125).  PSHSB

In the news:

Experts: AZ Firefighter Probe Shows GPS Need

APCO backs FCC move toward greater wireless transparency

Continue reading

Public Safety Advocate Weekly Summary September 27, 2013

Courtesy Andy Seybold
Busy news week on a lot of fronts. Included is also my latest Public Safety Advocate article for those of you who may not have seen it.
FirstNet is moving rapidly ahead with their hiring process. There are lots of jobs now posted on If you want to be part of the FirstNet project, check out the jobs. They are looking for people in the 10 FEMA regions as well FirstNet corporate jobs.

NTIA almost completes grant awards for FirstNet planningUrgent Communications via Google Alerts
Sep 26 17:57 … of the FirstNet nationwide broadband network for first responders have been …

Broadband White Paper Outlines Resource Exchange Concept for …Google Alerts
Sep 25 15:57 The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International Broadband Committee released a white paper titled “Exploring Business Tools Continue reading

FirstNet Changes Unified Incident Command, Public Safety Advocate, September 25

FirstNet Brings Changes to Unified Incident Command, By Andy Seybold

As we learn more about FirstNet and its progress toward a nationwide broadband network, there are a number of matters state and local Public Safety agencies can and should address prior to the network being deployed. The FirstNet Board of Directors has repeatedly stated that while the network will be nationwide in its reach and capabilities, the content that flows over the network will be under local control. This is an important point since local agencies tend to operate in different ways both during routine use and during incidents.

When working with the FirstNet system, one of the most significant differences is that all of the agencies within your jurisdiction will be sharing the same network capacity. Today, most Public Safety agencies within a single jurisdiction use their own set of radio channels (or share a trunked network)—police are on their own channels, fire and perhaps EMS are on another, and EMS has additional channels for talking directly to hospitals. If police and fire need to talk to each other, two or more radio channels are tied together at a radio console located in the dispatch center for the duration of the needed communication. Fire, police, and EMS generally operate at the same incident without interfering with each other’s transmissions. Of course, this is one reason there are voice interoperability issues today.

With the FirstNet system, all of the departments responding to the incident will be sharing the same radio system (FirstNet) for data and video. This will not present a problem during normal patrol and other types of day-to-day operations since each unit in the field uses only a small portion of spectrum and communicates only with a dispatch center or perhaps a few other units during a local incident. However, when several agencies are involved in an incident of any size, and all need access to data and video, it is possible that in some cases there will not be enough network capacity to go around.

Read complete article at WWW.ANDREWSEYBOLD.COM

AZ Wildfire Report: Courtesy Nick Ruark, Private Wireless Forum, September 28

Serious Accident Investigation report of the June 30, 2013 Yarnell Hill (AZ) Wildfire

“…the investigation found badly programmed radios, vague updates, and a
33-minute communication blackout just before the flames engulfed the
men. Investigators did not consider whether better communication might
have saved the men.”

Link to full report: (120 page PDF)

Link to video briefing:

DHS OEC Publishes Guidelines for Encryption in LMR Systems

October 1, 2013, The incentive to develop this document originated as a compelling request from the state and local public safety community for guidelines that would provide clear and factual information regarding the use of encryption, what it can provide to protect mission critical communications from compromise, and how to best implement it to maintain interoperability among agencies at all levels of government.

Document available at:

Courtesy TRDaily, September 25, 2013: FirstNet Transparent?

Excerpted from TRDaily, September 25, 2013, by Paul Kirby

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) should take a number of steps to improve its transparency, according to Bill Schrier, the chairman of the Washington State Interoperability Executive Committee who has worked extensively with jurisdictions interested in building early public safety broadband networks.

In an opinion piece shared with TRDaily, Mr. Schrier said that FirstNet should announce all meetings of the board, even the briefings held the day before open board meetings, and should publicly release the matters discussed.  He also said that FirstNet should make sure its open meetings are held in rooms large enough to accommodate the public, not just reporters, and allow for public comment, like city councils do.

FirstNet also should publish a directory of its staff that includes their contact information and responsibilities, and it should announce the hiring of new contractors, he said.

“Especially at the beginning, but even now, FirstNet contractor hires appeared to be all people almost exclusively with private company cellular technology expertise.  Some of the first hires had little or no experience with LTE,” Mr. Schrier said.  “It was (and still is) a mystery as to how they were hired, by what mechanism, and what their connection or expertise/background is.   The lack of transparency here certainly contributes to the feeling that the effort is being managed or railroaded in a certain direction.” Continue reading