Well, lots going on at the FCC, first of all the AWS-3 auction is finally over with over $44.9 billion raised, an amazing amount for 55 MHz of spectrum some of which is not paired with other spectrum so it is not worth nearly as much. The winners will be announced shortly. FirstNet will get the $7 Billion that Congress said would be allocated to them from spectrum auctions without having to wait for the 600 MHz auction which has already been delayed once and probably will be again as the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) pushes back at the FCC.
The TV spectrum was given to the broadcasters for free and now the FCC and Congress want more of it back to auction off. Needless to say this could easily end up in court. The next auction taken by the FCC is they raised the minimum speed which qualifies for “Broadband”. The FCC had set the low limit at 4 Mbps and has raised that to 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. That certainly raises a question for me, my Cable provider provides me with 100 Mbps down but only 12 Mbps up so they meet the new definition however, it is still lopsided, and still follows the old Internet model of more data down and less up, I cannot wait to get fiber where uplink and downlink speeds are the same. Next the FCC adopted tighter accuracy for 9-1-1 calls, while the full text has not been published yet it does include better accuracy from call in doors and above the ground (in other words is the caller on the second floor or the fourth floor of a building?)
And of course the FCC is going to rule on Net Neutrality in February, and many cities are calling for the FCC to restrict States from preventing cities to offer broadband services. The FCC really has its hands full and the commissioners are being bombarded from all sides but still have to act in what they believe is the best way possible for the most people possible. Finally, FirstNet is still moving forward and I am told is close to releasing an RFP for partnerships. I am also told that the responses will not be shared as public documents in the hope that FirstNet will get some better responses than the first RFI. From my perspective I will be very surprised if FirstNet receives any really great partnership proposals, except maybe from the Utility companies. Many of the commercial network operators are concerned about several aspects of the potential partnership. First off is the fact that no one really knows how much of the Public Safety Spectrum will be available for commercial use in the major cities, on Friday or Sat nights for example, and some have expressed dismay that FirstNet is still a Federal organization wrapped under the expanding wings of the NITA and that some of the potential bidders are more than willing to enter into an agreement with Public Safety but NOT with the Federal Government. The News is below, Andy
The FCC adopted on a 5-0 vote a 911 location accuracy order that is weaker than the draft order first circulated as well as proposals released last year, but Commissioners said the item ensures a path toward providing improved location accuracy, including vertical accuracy. As TRDaily has reported, under the new order approved at the FCC’s meeting today, wireless carriers will have to provide a location fix using technologies capable of providing dispatchable location or 50-meter horizontal accuracy for 40% of all wireless 911 calls within two years, 50% of all calls within three years, 70% of all calls within five years, and 80% of all calls within six years. Non-nationwide carriers may extend the five- and six-year benchmarks based on when they deploy VoLTE technology throughout their networks.
Both dispatchable and coordinate-based technologies will have to be tested and validated through a test bed that is independently administered.
Eighteen months after the order takes effect, nationwide carriers will have to begin collecting and reporting live 911 call data quarterly from six representative cities. The Commission said the data will help FCC officials determine how well different location technologies are working and validate test bed certification of the solutions.
As for vertical location accuracy, wireless carriers will be required to make uncompensated barometric pressure data available to public safety answering points (PSAPs) within three years. The data will come from handsets capable of delivering such data. Carriers also have three years to develop a vertical location accuracy metric, which they will submit to the FCC for approval.
Carriers will have to deploy dispatchable location or z-axis – vertical – technology in the 25 most populous cellular market areas (CMAs) within six years, and dispatchable location or z-axis technology in the 50 most populous CMAs within eight years. Non-nationwide carriers that serve these markets will get an additional year to deploy.
Regarding the establishment of a national emergency database, the FCC order requires national carriers to submit for FCC approval a privacy and security plan for the database within 18 months. Continue reading
The AWS-3 auction is still alive, now at $44 Billion, Net Neutrality is getting more and more press as the President, Congress and the FCC all seem to be searching for the correct answer, and FirstNet continues on. The Chairwoman of the FirstNet Board was in DC this week, making the rounds on the Hill, and hopefully satisfying the Congressional skeptics. FirstNet needs to succeed. Have a great week-end Andy
FirstNet Holds Federal Consultation Kick Off – First Responder Network Authority via Google Alerts Jan 23 04:40 The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 directs FirstNet to consult with Federal, State, tribal, and local public safety entities on the … Continue reading
The Federal Communications Commission’s biggest ever auction of wireless spectrum closed Thursday and raised a record $44.9 billion, a boon for taxpayers and a sign of the growing cost of supporting Americans’ smartphone habit. By Thomas Gryta
Comments are due March 9 and replies April 7 in PS dockets 14-193 and 13-75 in response to a notice of proposed rulemaking adopted in November that proposes requiring 911 communications service providers to provide public notice of major service changes and require potential new providers of those services to certify their technical and operational qualifications (TRDaily, Nov. 21, 2014).
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers said today that cybersecurity, and in particular securing public networks, is the group’s top federal advocacy priorities for 2015. Also among the group’s list of most important advocacy topics are modernizing federal regulations that impact state information technology infrastructure, building “a sustainable nationwide public safety network,” and engaging on a host of broadband-related topics including promoting broadband connections for schools and libraries, and proposed changes to the 1996 Telecom Act.
“Cybersecurity is a critical concern and priority for state CIOs,” said Stuart Davis, NASC IO’s president and also chief information officer for the state of Ohio. “Our nation must do more to combat the asymmetrical, sophisticated threats our government networks face on a daily basis.” He said NASCIO will be seeking more resources and collaboration with the federal government on cyber-threat data sharing and response, and making sure that states have access to cybersecurity professionals and advanced tools. – John Curran, email@example.com
Paige Atkins has officially been named associate administrator-Office of Spectrum Management at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, NTIA Administrator Lawrence E. Strickling announced today. She replaces Karl Nebbia, who left NTIA late last year. Ms. Atkins joined NTIA last year as deputy associate administrator-spectrum planning and policy and had been serving as acting associate administrator-Office of Spectrum Management since Mr. Nebbia left. Before coming to NTIA, Ms. Atkins was vice president-cyber and IT research at the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation. From 2010 to 2011 she was director-strategic planning and information at the Defense Information Systems Agency. For four years before taking that post, Ms. Atkins was director of the Defense Spectrum Organization at DISA.