NPSTC Outreach News November 25, 2013

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National 911 Program Releases Video on Benefits of NG911: Next Generation (NG) 911 is a complex issue and its success requires the support and collaboration of not just the 911 community, but of first responders, legislators, and the public.  The National 911 Program has released a short video that explains the benefits of NG911 for all of these audiences.  The video is free and available for use at conferences, in presentations, in one-on-one meetings or at town hall gatherings. The video can be viewed, shared and downloaded at  More information, tools and resources, including the Guidelines for State NG911 Legislative Language, the State of 911 webinar series, and a Review of Nationwide Data Collection can also be found at Continue reading

NPSTC Outreach News November 20, 2013

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Please REJOIN Linked In!  NPSTC’s Linked In Community Former and New Members, This is For You.   Due to a technical error, the NPSTC Community Linked In account was deleted.  At the time, NPSTC’s Linked In community hosted 1,134 members.  We want you back.  Linked-In Customer Service advised that us that the NPSTC community could not be restored, so we are starting over and wish to invite all 1,134 of you who were previously members of our group to rejoin us and bring your colleagues too. Thank you for your patience and understanding over the last 3 weeks as we have been working to restore our presence. Click here to rejoin:

FCC Chairman Wheeler Names Admiral David Simpson PSHSB Chief:  FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced his intention to name Rear Admiral David Simpson as Chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB). Admiral Simpson brings more than 20 years of Information and Communications Technology experience supporting the Department of Defense, working closely with other agencies to provide secure communication services and improve cyberdefense readiness.David Sinpson PSHSB 2013 11

Chairman Wheeler said, “The FCC plays an essential role in ensuring that public safety agencies have the access to communications needed to fulfill their mission of safeguarding the American public. At a time when our networks are continuously being attacked, it is also important to have someone with Admiral Simpson’s cybersecurity skills. Admiral Simpson’s extensive experience managing and securing complex and disparate information environments worldwide makes him exceptionally well suited to lead PSHSB. He has a proven track record working with a diverse community of government agencies to manage integration of communications systems in challenging environments, and the public safety and network security communities will benefit from that depth of expertise and experience.”

NPSTC Files with FCC on Emission Mask Requirements for Digital Technologies on 800 MHz NSPAC Channels; Analog FM Capability on Mutual Aid and Interoperability Channels.  In its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in this proceeding, the Commission proposes to require digital technologies to comply with Emission Mask H when operated in the 800 MHz National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) band (806-809/851-854 MHz).  The Commission also proposes to require equipment to have analog FM capability when operating on 800 MHz, VHF, and UHF public safety mutual aid and interoperability calling channels.

NPSTC concurs with the Commission that these proposals could help safeguard public safety licensees in the NPSPAC band from adjacent-channel interference and help preserve interoperability. NPSTC supports the Commission’s proposal to require the H mask in the 800 MHz NPSPAC channels to minimize adjacent channel interference. NPSTC also supports the Commission’s proposal regarding analog FM interoperability on the five NPSPAC mutual aid channels and the VHF/UHF interoperability calling channels.  Click here to view NPSTC’s comments:

Wireless Broadband Coalition Projects 700 % Hike in Mobile Data Traffic.  A projected 700% hike in mobile data traffic in North America between 2013 and 2019 highlights the need for the U.S. government to make more spectrum available to carriers, according to the Wireless Broadband Coalition.  The coalition cited a report released by Ericsson that projects a seven-fold increase in mobile data traffic in North America between this year and 2019.  The increases are expected to be even greater – 11 times – in Latin America; Central Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; and the Asia Pacific regions.

Wireless Broadband Coalition Projects 700% Hike in Mobile Data Traffic

A projected 700% hike in mobile data traffic in North America between 2013 and 2019 highlights the need for the U.S. government to make more spectrum available to carriers, according to the Wireless Broadband Coalition.  The coalition cited a report released by Ericsson that projects a seven-fold increase in mobile data traffic in North America between this year and 2019.  The increases are expected to be even greater – 11 times – in Latin America; Central Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; and the Asia Pacific regions.

“The data Ericsson has collected is compelling.  For the third consecutive year, actual traffic on wireless networks has exceeded all the forecasts used by the FCC in developing the spectrum allocation recommendations in the 2010 National Broadband Plan.  Despite continued advances in the deployment of new technology like LTE, more cleared, paired, spectrum below 3 GHz will be needed to help the wireless industry deliver the mobile broadband services that consumers demand,” David Taylor, executive director of the coalition, said in a statement released yesterday.

“The findings in today’s report increase the pressure on the Administration, Congress, the FCC, and industry to allocate more spectrum for commercial use,” Mr. Taylor added.  “The first step is for the Administration, Congress and industry to continue working together to make the promise of clearing the 1755-1780 MHz band, pairing with 2155-2180 MHz and auctioning the pair by February 2015 a reality.  Second, the report increases pressure on the FCC to design and ultimately to deliver a successful incentive auction of broadcast TV spectrum.”

“The number of mobile subscriptions worldwide has grown approximately 7 percent year-on-year during Q3 2013. The number of mobile broadband subscriptions grew even faster over this period – at a rate of 40 percent year-on-year, exceeding 2 billion in 2013,” the Ericsson report said.  “The amount of data usage per subscription also continued to grow steadily and around 55 percent of all mobile phones sold in Q3 2013 were smartphones.”

The report also predicted 10-fold growth in smartphone traffic between 2013 and 2019, and it said that LTE will cover 65% of the world’s population by 2019. – Paul Kirby [Courtesy TRDaily, November 13, 2013]

Drones Could Be Tool of the Future for Firefighters


When Tulsa firefighters respond to emergency calls in the near future, crews could be accompanied by unmanned drones.  Members of the Tulsa Fire Department gathered Wednesday to watch a demonstration of how the unmanned aircraft can work in concert with first responders on the ground to save lives.  “We want this to be another just another tool firefighters can use,” said Oklahoma State University clinical professor J.A. Kidd, whose students help setup and operate a drone for the rescue simulation.

The drone was outfitted with a camera and software that enabled several first responders at the site and at a command post to gain access to real-time information related to the emergency, Kidd said.

Read the rest of the story at:

What’s New at the FCC? NPSTC November Regulatory Update


Articles provided by Bette Rinehart, NPSTC Editorial Task Group Chair

700 MHz News

  • Technical Rules Adopted for Spectrum Licensed to FirstNet

800 MHz News

  • Application Freeze in Canadian Border Extended
  • Comment Dates Established for NPRM Proposing Emission Mask Requirements for Digital Technologies in the NPSPAC Band

Regulatory News

  • Wheeler & O’Rielly Confirmed by Senate
  • National Public Safety Telecommunications Council Provides FCC with 4.9 GHz National Plan Recommendations – Comment Sought
  • Comment Sought on Flathead County, MT Waiver Request to Use I/B Pool VHF Frequencies

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NPSTC Outreach News November 8, 2013

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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.

FCC Issues Warning on False EAS Sounds.  The FCC is cracking down on TV stations and networks that use false Emergency Alert System (EAS) tones to promote shows or commercials.  The Enforcement Bureau has issued a $25,000 notice of apparent liability against Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., for using “a simulation of the prescribed EAS codes and Attention Signal” to promote “Conan.”  It also has signed a $39,000 consent decree with WNKY-TV in Bowling Green, Ky., for misusing an EAS attention signal in an advertisement for a clothing store. Continue reading

Nov 8: Courtesy Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate

First up, this morning I received an email from Dr. David Boyd who is the Director of Interoperability and Director, Technology Transfer for DHS. Dr. Boyd has had a very distinguished career and who has been a real promoter of Public Safety Communications. Below is an excerpt from his email and as you can see he has contributed to many different issues over the years:

“Over the past 45 years I completed a military career and for the past 22 years have led some magnificent teams in developing technologies that have made a real difference for first responders. We created the Office of Science and Technology in the National Institute of Justice and had it written into law, and did the same with the Office of Interoperability and Compatibility. We built all but six of the 132 DNA laboratories in the United States, so there is now one or more in every state and territory. We initiated the National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence that set the foundation for the use of DNA in this country. We developed the backscatter x-ray systems in use in our airports and strengthened the standards for airport metal detectors (sorry about those), changed the interoperability culture in the public safety community, and developed genuinely interoperable technologies – the multi-band radio, most of the patch systems in use, ROW-B (now at NORTHCOM) and the interoperability continuum adopted throughout the U.S. as well as by Canada, the UK, and Australia. We created the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center System, still supporting practitioners and created the nation’s largest corrections technology demonstration that still takes place every year. We completed the first successful cross-border, seamless, real time information exchanges (CAUSE II) with Canada and did it without making anyone buy new equipment or change applications or business processes. We created and made a national institution of the SAFECOM program, moved the P25 standards along, created the Common Alerting Protocol now in use everywhere, and defined data exchange protocol standards for emergency and law enforcement data. We initiated the first national interoperable information sharing system (Virtual USA), the first national alerting system (CMAS, now called WEA) that goes directly to modern digital devices (e.g., smart phones). We saved the body armor program at Justice, created the first national investigative guides (homicides, burglaries, arson, etc.) regularly referred to by the courts. We conducted the first study of the exoneration through DNA of persons who served years before the new technology could exonerate them, and we changed – through our studies of why convictions had gone wrong – how eyewitness evidence was collected, validated, and assessed. We conducted the study of pepper spray that confirmed its safety and protected its use by law enforcement, developed and commercialized COPLINK (now in use in just about every law enforcement agency in the country), and commercialized dozens of other technologies now in common use by first responders”.

As you can see Dr. Boyd has lead many projects which have benefited not only Public Safety but also many other areas. He will be missed and I know that he will continue to follow our progress even from his well deserved retirement. I have learned a lot over the years from Dr. Boyd and wish him well.

I hope to see many of you in Boulder next week for the PSCR meeting.


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NPSTC Submits EMS Broadband Application List for Submission to FirstNet’s PSAC

The NPSTC Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Working Group has submitted a list of current and conceptual broadband applications at the request of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC).  StarOfLifeLogo

The list contains desired applications, ranked from high to low priority, with a description of the app, whether it is conceptual or available, if it can be used off network, and a use case to explain the need and benefit of the application.   An example of a high priority app is Speech to Text, Integrated Patient Care Record, which is conceptual currently, while another high priority app is Video Assisted Patient Care, which does exist today.

The FirstNet Board asked the PSAC to develop a master document of applications for use by law enforcement, fire/rescue and EMS. The EMS Broadband Applications List (on NPSTC’s website) will be merged with a larger list of all public safety groups, currently under development by the PSAC.  When complete, the public safety applications will be submitted by the PSAC to the FirstNet.

NPSTC Publishes 4.9 GHz National Plan and Recommendations

Public safety agencies have expressed frustration with the 4.9 GHz band because current rules allow geographically based licensing with little documentation on system design and transmitter location. Agencies contemplating new service in this band cannot determine if other agencies in their area might cause harmful interference today or in the future. While the licensing rules provide for geographical sharing of the band between different agencies, the lack of licensing detail invites the potential for conflict and interference. Law enforcement and fire/rescue agencies also need dedicated channels to support unmanned aerial devices (UAVs), bomb robots and other specialized applications, all of which require broadband channels for video and data.
On October 15, 2013, NPSTC submitted its 4.9 GHz National Plan Recommendations to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

This report is designed to examine all of the above issues and make appropriate recommendations which will enhance access and utilization of the 4.9 GHz band. The intent of NPSTC’s report and National Plan is to document the current problems with the existing rules and processes that are restricting more effective use of the band and to propose new rules that will facilitate increased use of the band to promote safety of life and property. As part of this plan, the potential to share with critical infrastructure (CII) entities was examined, and rules that protect public safety users while allowing alternate use of the band will be proposed.

The full report is on the NPSTC website at

FCC Seeks Comment on NPSTC Report: On October 30, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) is seeking comment on NPSTC’s plan for use of the 4.9 GHz band. Comments are due November 22 and replies December 13 in WP Docket 07-100, PS Docket 06-229, and WT Docket 06-150.