Simpson: PSAPs Should Accept Texts, Hold Carriers Accountable on Accuracy

Public safety answering points (PSAPs) should move to upgrade their facilities so they can accept texts and should hold wireless carriers accountable in their implementation of the FCC’s new 911 location accuracy rules, David Simpson, chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, said today.  Mr. Simpson delivered a luncheon speech at the National Emergency Number Association’s 911 Goes to Washington event.

Under a 911 location accuracy order adopted last month (TRDaily, Jan. 29), wireless carriers will be required to provide to requesting PSAPs live 911 call data, which will let the PSAPs assess whether the performance of carriers in their areas is consistent with the performance seen in the test cities. If the performance in their areas is below mandated thresholds, PSAPs can seek enforcement of the rules after first attempting to resolve the issue with carriers. Continue reading

FirstNet to Look at Public Safety Entity Definition in Further Notice

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) plans to issue another public notice further exploring issues related the definition of public safety entity, a FirstNet official said today at the National Emergency Number Association’s 911 Goes to Washington event.  The definition of public safety entity was an issue that drew many comments in a public notice issued by FirstNet last September (TRDaily, Sept. 17, 2014). The public notice sought comment on preliminary interpretations and other issues regarding FirstNet’s authority under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. Continue reading

Will You BE at IWCE on March 17? DHS S&T Wants to Know…

As you know, the work of our partner—the DHS Office for Interoperability & Compatibility (OIC)—is public safety driven. OIC has an opportunity for those already at IWCE to voice the ideas of our membership alongside industry and others.  On Tuesday, March 17 (3pm), DHS’s Science & Technology (S&T) is hosting an IWCE town hall session called Preparing the First Responder of the Future.  The session, led by Dan Cotter and others we know from OIC, is designed as part of S&T’s National Conversation and is important for informing their Next Generation First Responder Apex program work—which we will be hearing more about in the coming months.   (Dan Cotter will be briefing NPSTC on this at the March 20 NPSTC meeting.)

DHS National Conversation


FCC Daily Digest, February 23, 2015

1) FCC denies Petition for Reconsideration by the Conley Group, Inc., a private security firm and consultant.  The Conley Group, Inc. had sought a license for five VHF interoperability channels that would cover the state of Iowa.  The Conley Group, Inc. already holds a sharing agreement on 800 MHz interop channels with Iowa DPS, but Iowa DPS remains the licensee.  FCC indicated the Petition for Reconsideration provided no new information why a license for public safety frequencies should be granted to a private security business.   The FCC decision also provides additional details concerning the rationale for its decision.

2) FCC and FDA will hold joint workshop on Wireless Medical Device Test Beds on Tuesday March 31 from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM at FCC headquarters in Washington, DC.  The workshop is open to the public and FCC encourages those who want to attend to  register.  See attached Public Notice for more information.

Ars Technica Reports: Hands On with the Fastest LTE Network in Europe

LONDON—February 26, 2015. Today, I got to play around with Europe’s (and probably the world’s) fastest LTE network: when I opened up, depending on how many people were standing in the room, my download speed was between 350 and 400Mbps, my upload speed was around 45Mbps, and my ping latency was just 20ms.

Funny enough, beyond, it is actually quite hard to use 400Mbps of bandwidth. When I loaded up a 4K video from YouTube, I only used around 40Mbps, or 10 percent, of my wireless uber-pipe. Ars Technica certainly loaded very quickly indeed. As it stands today, there are very few websites or services that will let you pull data down at 400Mbps, or where being able to download at 400Mbps even makes much sense. If we’ve learned anything from the last few decades of telecoms and networking, however, it’s that Internet usage will always expand until every last inch of available bandwidth is consumed. So while 400Mbps might seem a little bit over the top today, in five years you’ll probably wonder how you ever survived with anything less.   Read More here:

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, February 27, 2015

Well, as you are all well aware, I assume, the FCC yesterday passed the new Net Neutrality rules and to no one’s surprise the vote was 3 to 2 with the 2 dissenting votes being the minority party Commissioners. There are members of Congress who are already looking at changing the FCC’s new rules, and the industry seems to be divided between those who think that this is a great thing for the Internet and those who believe that this will hinder innovation and growth.

It may not seem like this whole debate is really of interest to the Public Safety community but it has far reaching effects regarding who is doing what with the Internet, Internet security, and capacity issues and all of our ability to access information when and where we need it.

Public Safety News is light this week mostly because of the Net Neutrality pushed a lot of other news stories off the page but FirstNet continues its push to move forward and meet all of its self-imposed deadlines. One news story that did not end up in our list of stories was the most recent Urgent Communications story written by Donny Jackson. This story is worth a read and it is worth reading all of it because of the comments of others quoted in the article which drives home some of the issues many within the Public Safety community, and myself, believe are hampering FirstNet’s ability to move forward faster. The story is here: Have a great week end! Andy Continue reading

FCC Order Would Grant Part 90 Petition

A draft FCC second order on reconsideration that was circulated Feb. 18 would grant an unopposed petition seeking reconsideration of provisions in a 2013 fifth report and order that increased to 8 watts the maximum transmitter power limit for end-of-train devices (TRDaily, April 18, 2013), an FCC source told TRDaily today. The petition for reconsideration, which was filed by the Public Safety Communications Council (PSCC), asked the Commission to reconsider two trunking rules in its order, which was adopted in WT docket 07-100.

PSCC asked the FCC to make the following changes for applications seeking to deploy trunking systems in the VHF and UHF bands:

1) FCC had adopted a “reciprocal contour rule.  This means that an applicant’s interference contour cannot overlap a co-channel incumbents coverage contour and the applicant’s coverage contour cannot overlap the incumbents interference contour.  PSCC asked that  the reciprocal contour protection rule should be modified to make it apply only to B/ILT pool frequencies, not public safety frequencies.  Instead, PSCC wants the public safety frequency coordinators to determine when a proposed system, such as a low power system to cover a prison or courthouse can be placed within the interference contour of an incumbent without interference to the incumbent.

2)  To use the service contour of the base station as the service and interference contours of the associated mobile stations. This is applicable at VHF, where base and mobile frequencies do not follow any standardized pairing.  With this change, at VHF, it would be necessary to protect the incumbent mobile channel from contour overlap from new trunked mobile stations.


Medical Device Test Bed Workshop Set

The FCC and the Food and Drug Administration plan to hold a workshop March 31 on wireless medical test beds. The event is scheduled to run from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the Commission’s meeting room. “As the rapid pace of innovation blurs traditional boundaries between consumer health technology, medical devices, and communications, the agencies seek to better understand how wireless test beds can be used and configured to meet the challenges and to take advantage of the opportunities this convergence presents,” according to a public notice released today. “Consumers are increasingly using wireless health and care management tools at home; indeed, the emergence of the ‘hospital in the home’ concept opens new areas of medical technology innovation that must take into account the need for wireless co-existence.

Courtesy TRDaily

ATIS Critical Work Adopted into New FCC Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requiremetns

WASHINGTON, DC – ATIS announces the unveiling of its testing methodology that has made a critical contribution to the recently released FCC Fourth Report and Order on Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements. In the Report and Order (R&O),the FCC adopts a range of measures that will significantly enhance the ability of Public Safety Answering Points to accurately identify the location of wireless 9-1-1 callers. It also strengthens the existing E9-1-1 location accuracy rules to improve location determination for outdoor as well as indoor calls. ATIS is well-positioned to carry out the recommendations set forth in the R&O. Continue reading

Join the National Conversation on Homeland Security Technology

BE THE FUTURE OF R&D!   JOIN THE CONVERSATION                                                

What is the National Conversation?DHS Conversation 2015 0113

The National Conversation on Homeland Security Technology is a series of online and in-person discussions designed to get people talking about how to innovate solutions for the Nation’s homeland security challenges. The National Conversation is intended to foster exchange between responders/operational users and innovators to generate sustainable homeland security solutions that will help keep our communities and those who protect them safe and resilient.

What is the National Conversation about?

The National Conversation addresses any issue related to homeland security technology capabilities. Topics include sensors, wearable technologies for responders, multi-directional situational awareness and decision making, cybersecurity, screening, and community resilience.

While you can start a topic of your own at any time, the National Conversation’s structured “dialogues” will address the following five issue areas.

  • Dialogue 1: Responder of the Future
  • Dialogue 2: Enable the Decision Maker
  • Dialogue 3: Screening at Speed
  • Dialogue 4: A Trusted Cyber Future
  • Dialogue 5: Resilient Communities

Each dialogue is comprised of the following phases.

  1. A Q&A phase to clarify operational needs
  2. An Ideation phase for pitching and ranking innovative ideas to meet needs identified during the Q&A
  3. A showcase webinar that will present dialogue highlights
  4. A potential Inspiration Awards competition

Continue reading