Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, February 6, 2015

Net Neutrality rules have been announced by the FCC, and now I am sure that they will end up in court so it will be some time before we know if they will stick. I still have an issue with the total Capacity of both the Internet and wireless broadband and believe that if there is no incentive to build more back-bone, at some point we will run out of capacity. Others disagree, and there seems to be a general feeling that the Internet is an unlimited resource. To that I say, if you remember having to wait to call you mother via wired landline on Mother’s day, there is no such thing as unlimited capacity.

FirstNet continues to make progress I am, however, still concerned that NITA’s strangle hold on FirstNet will result in FirstNet not finding the partners they need. I was shocked to find out that the Inspector Generals office of the Department of Commerce has requested a number of new Staff members which are needed to “monitor FirstNet!” The FirstNet board and Staff are the most dedicated people I have met in a very long time. The IG’s request is just another slap in the face to the professionals serving for virtually nothing as FirstNet board members. Something is VERY wrong with this entire scenario. I am not sure what it will take to make the changes in the NTIA and Department of Commerce’s overbearing oversight of FirstNet but if it does not change and if FirstNet is not permitted to do the job it was charged by Congress to do, the Public Safety community will not realize the benefits of the new Broadband Spectrum anytime soon.
US Wireless Spectrum Auction Raises $44.9 BillionSlashdot Jan 30 10:15 An anonymous reader writes: The FCC’s recent wireless spectrum auction closed on Thursday, and the agency has raked in far more money than anyone expected. Sales totaled $44.89 billion, demonstrating that demand for wireless spectrum is higher than ever. The winners have not yet been disclosed, but the FCC will soon make all bidding activity public. “The money will be used to fund FirstNet, the government agency tasked with creating the nation’s first interoperable broadband…

Net Neutrality May Be Here to Stay, No Thanks to GOP EffortsHuffington Post Feb  6 15:15 After months of what seemed like endless amounts of money and ignorant comments from politicians receiving said money from Internet Service Providers to squash net neutrality, it looks like there’s some hope on the horizon. According to a statement issued on Wednesday by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, the internet may remain the wild frontier of free expression and innovation it was originally intended to be. Net neutrality is the idea that Internet service providers (like Comcast and Verizon) should treat all web content equally. Net neutrality supporters think Internet service should operate like electricity. Consumers pay a fee to an… Continue reading

PTIG Publishes New P25 CAP Tested Radios List on Project

While working with the manufacturers, the Project 25 Technology Interest Group (PTIG) learned that manufacturers have been providing copies of government-approved Compliance Assessment Testing (CAP) documentation to customers in need of such documentation.   PTIG agreed to provide a P25 CAP tested Product List document with direct links to company databases or POC info to improve accessibility to each manufacturer’s copies of CAP test documents and Suppliers Declarations of Compliance (SDOCs). This is complete and has been published on the PTIG website. PTIG does not intend to become the ultimate repository for CAP test data.

To fully understand the specifics of the tests run and which radios were tested for interoperability it is suggested that interested parties refer to specific CAP test documents and SDOCs from each company. These can be accessed using the company links or by contacting the company representative in the 4th column of the table.

Announcing the Federal 100 Awards: Harlin McEwen, IACP, Is a Winner

McEwenCelebrating 26 years, FCW: The Business of Federal Technology announces the winners of the Federal 100 Awards, including Chief Harlin McEwen, International Association of Chiefs of Police, NPSTC representative on behalf of the IACP, and Chair of the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC).

The Federal 100 awards are presented to government, industry, and academic leaders who have played pivotal roles that affect how the federal government acquires, develops, and manages IT. These individuals have gone above and beyond their daily responsibilities and have made a difference in the way technology has transformed their agency or accelerated their agency’s mission.

Robot Mower Waiver Request Comment Sought

The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology today sought comment on a waiver request filed by  iRobot Corp. to obtain equipment certification for the marketing of its Robotic Lawn Mowers (RLMs). “iRobot states its RLMs are battery operated, self-propelling lawn mowers that rely on portable beacons placed in multiple locations on a lawn. The beacons transmit information to the RLM that enables the RLM to map out and stay within a designated mowing area. Continue reading

Swenson: Earthquake Highlights FirstNet Need

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake in California last week highlights the need for a nationwide public safety broadband network, First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board Chairwoman Sue Swenson said in a blog posting today. Ms. Swenson was speaking to a town hall meeting in Humboldt County, Calif., last week when the earthquake struck. She said that “not everyone was able to get a signal on their mobile devices. Continue reading

NSTAC to Look at How “Big Data” Can Improve Safety, Cybersecurity

A White House advisory board today began planning a study of how “big data” analytics could be used to address cybersecurity and other national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) challenges.  The National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee will form a scoping committee to determine the boundaries of its work.  “It is a potentially boundless topic,” noted Scott Charney, a committee member and corporate vice president at Microsoft Corp.’s Trustworthy Computing Group.

Mr. Charney suggested that the scoping committee come up with a “handful of scenarios” related to NS/EP and determine how big data might apply in those situations.  “If we don’t do this in a very phased way, we might find it very hard to make any recommendations,” he said.

Lisa Hook, president and chief executive of Neustar, Inc., was tentatively chosen to chair the scoping committee, which will be formed at the next NSTAC meeting scheduled for May 6 in Washington. – Tom Leithauser,

Courtesy TRDaily


Simpson: PSAPs Key in Implementation of 911 Location Accuracy Order

Public safety answering points (PSAPs) will be key players in implementation of a 911 location accuracy order adopted by the FCC last week (TRDaily, Jan. 29), David Simpson, chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, said during a webinar this afternoon sponsored by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International.

Under the order, all 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 six test cities, Mr. Simpson noted. 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, he added.

Nationwide carriers also must, on a quarterly basis, report aggregate live call data to APCO, the National Emergency Number Association, and the National Association of State 911 Administrators.

Mr. Simpson said the public safety community will have “a direct participatory role in driving” implementation of the order’s requirements, adding that PSAPs should “be demanding customers of the carriers.”  He also stressed that granular live call data that carriers will have to provide quarterly will help in an assessment of how location technologies are working. He also stressed that a test bed to be established will be permanent and not temporary as in the past.

The test cities will be San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Denver/Front Range, Philadelphia, and Manhattan in New York City and their surrounding areas, which will allow the testing of various geographic morphologies.- Paul Kirby,

Courtesy TRDaily

NPSTC Needs Your Input on LED Lighting Interference; Questionnaire Closes February 13

NPSTC has been monitoring reports of interference from LED and fluorescent lighting system ballasts which have caused disruption to public safety land mobile radio systems.

In 2013, the FCC issued an order directing one manufacturer to make some changes to their LED lighting transformers after complaints were received about interference.

More recently, some public safety agencies have reported interference from LED lights installed on agency radio towers, from fluorescent lighting installed at an incident command post, and from commercial buildings with large lighting systems.  NPSTC has created this questionnaire to gather additional information from public safety agencies on the extent of these problems.

Information from the questionnaire will be reviewed to see if NPSTC should petition the FCC to update existing rules that govern the use of these lighting systems and similar electronics.  NPSTC is also working with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), which has reported such interference to amateur communications.

The LED Interference Questionnaire  will be open until Friday, February 13, 2015. We appreciate your attention to this survey.  We will provide you with a copy of the results once they are compiled.

House to Consider Interoperable Communications Bill

The House is expected to vote late Monday on three bills, including the Department of Homeland Security Interoperable Communications Act (HR 615).  HR 615, which was introduced by Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D., N.J.) and would amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to require the under secretary for management of the Department of Homeland Security to take administrative action to “achieve and maintain interoperable communications capabilities.”

Courtesy TRDaily