DHS OEC eNewsletter, Volume 16, June 2015

DHS Office of Emergency Communications’ (OEC) official eNewsletter – the Emergency Communications Forum (ECF). Click the link below to view ECF-Volume 16 that includes the following: An article detailing OEC’s role in Cascadia Rising, a functional exercise to prepare emergency responders for a Cascadia Subduction Zone 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami along the West Coast of the United States; an overview of the emergency communications planning that occurred in preparation for the March 2015 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama; and a recap of Admiral Ron Hewitt’s webinar for critical infrastructure stakeholders hosted at the law offices of Keller and Heckman in Washington, D.C.

These topics and more appear in this issue of the ECF. For questions or more information, please visit the DHS Office of Emergency Communications website at www.DHS.gov – keyword ‘OEC’ or email us at

NPSTC Generally Supports UWB Waiver

The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council has expressed general support for a waiver request filed by Kyma Medical Technologies Ltd. to permit the marketing of an ultra-wideband medical imaging and diagnostic device.

“From a usage standpoint, devices such as those described by Kyma could be beneficial for the diagnosis and treatment of patients recovering from congestive heart failure,” NPSTC said in comments filed in ET docket 15-119. “Based on technical analysis conducted with information in the Kyma waiver request, NPSTC believes the risk of interference to public safety communications in the 700 MHz and 800 MHz bands from a Kyma device is minimal. However, if use of the Kyma device at a hospital or elder care facility would change the timing of transmissions from that described in the waiver request, or result in multiple devices operating on the same sub-band simultaneously, potential interference might be more noticeable. Accordingly, while generally supporting the waiver request, NPSTC recommends the Commission consider if any operational conditions need to be applied in such cases.”

Robert Bosch LLC said it “supports the grant of the Kyma waiver of Section 15.503(d) of the Commission’s Rules. But more broadly than this, Bosch requests that the Commission provide, for all UWB manufacturers, the opportunity to apply a practical interpretation of the Section 15.503(d) definition of minimum bandwidth, focusing on the – 10 dB requirement and the fractional bandwidth requirement, and to apply the ‘at any point in time’ provision to mean that the minimum bandwidth must be complied with at all times during the normal operating cycle of the emission being utilized by a UWB device.”

The GPS Innovation Alliance said it “appreciates and supports advances in medical technologies and the promise that Kyma’s uCor Device might bring to treat congestive heart failure. Kyma’s Waiver, however, as currently submitted raises questions, including how its operations will impact critical GPS services, that should be answered before it is allowed to proceed. The GPSIA therefore respectfully requests that the Commission defer any action on the Waiver until Kyma provides that information and it otherwise ensures that GPS operations are adequately protected.”- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, June 19, 2015

Lots of good press regarding the hearing held in the House of Representatives this week. TJ Kennedy the acting Executive Director for FirstNet gets high marks for his comments to the sub-committee and was even lauded for FirstNet’s recovery from earlier stumbles and now publishing and sticking to deadlines. One of the representatives asked a very pointed question. He asked if FirstNet were not under NTIA and was more of an Independent authority if the network could be built faster. At point it is important to understand that the truth is not an answer which will endear you to the NITA so you dodge the question and talk about how much better it is now than before. We all know that the answer to the question is HELL YES!

Every time the LTE will replace LMR for voice statement is made I cringe! Most of the time it is being made by people who have no public safety experience, no understanding of how different LTE networks and LMR networks really are. Instead they have been carrying a cell phone their entire lives and it works for them, is fully interoperable with anybody on earth, and costs under $500.

If these people are permitted to have their say and their way, FirstNet could be a cause of putting more first responder lives in danger because voice services as well as video and data services will all be riding on a common network with many more points of failure than LMR networks during natural and man made disasters. FirstNet was always about augmenting services to the First Responder community by adding video and data and not about replacing LMR radios. Will it happen some day, probably, but until my Police Chief, Fire Chief and their folks in the field say that they are 100% ready to trust their lives to Voice on LTE, LMR must remain alive and well.
Have a great week-end! Andy

House Hearing Draws Questions of Whether FirstNet Will Replace LMR NetworksThe RadioReference.com Forums via Google Alerts Jun 18 23:15 The sustainability of mission-critical voice networks as the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Long Term Evolution (LTE) network rolls out. Continue reading

FirstNet Releases More RFP Answers

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) released the second batch of answers to questions concerning its draft request for proposals (RFP) and special notice it released in April (TRDaily, April 27). Today’s tranche included answers to 187 questions. Last week, FirstNet released answers to 95 questions (TRDaily, June 11). In all, FirstNet received 670 questions from 52 entities about the draft RFP and special notice, including in writing and during an industry day held last month (TRDaily, May 14). “It’s important to note that the authors of the RFP are the ones answering these questions, and that’s by design. Each answer potentially represents a piece of what may go into the subsequent RFP,” James Mitchell, FirstNet’s senior program manager-operations, said in a blog posting today. “Moreover, we expect these answers to drive some of the comments and capabilities statements we will see coming in towards the end of July. For the next few weeks, FirstNet will continue to post responses on a rolling basis, just like you’ve seen us do so far.”

National 9-1-1 Program Compiles Complete List of NG9-1-1 Standards

Annual Update Includes 2014 Standards The National 911 Program recently released its third annual update to the report; “Next Generation 911 (NG911) Standards Identification and Review: A compilation of existing and planned standards for NG911 systems.” The 911 community has leveraged this document as a source of information during the development of NG911 system design, implementation and operations and the document was also used as the NG911 standards reference in the 2015 SAFECOM grant guidance.

The development and adoption of standards is key in the transition to Next Generation 911 (NG911) nationwide. With a number of standards development organizations (SDOs) addressing NG911 issues, understanding and tracking the evolving standards can be a daunting task. Since 2011, the National 911 Program has assisted the 911 community’s effort by compiling and sharing all of the current standards information in one complete report. Continue reading

FCC Daily Digest, June 17, 2015

The FCC issued an Order which granted the City of Mesa, AZ, additional time to reprogram its 700 MHz deployable trunked system.  The FCC previously extended the time Regional Planning Committee’s (RPC’s) have to update their regional plan with the six 700 MHz channels for deployable trunked systems to October 30, 2015.  In turn, the FCC has now extended the time for the City of Mesa, AZ to reprogram its 700 MHz deployable trunked system to be consistent with the designated channels and anticipated regional plan until April 30, 2016.

CITY OF MESA, ARIZONA.   Granted the extension request. Action by:  Deputy Chief, Policy and Licensing Division, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau. Adopted:  06/17/2015 by ORDER. (DA No. 15-705).  PSHSB  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-705A1.docx



DHS Recognizes Innovators at Patent Award Ceremony

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas recognized Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees and other individuals who have been awarded patents by the U.S. Patent Office for their technology advancements and inventions contributing to the homeland security mission. The event, hosted by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), recognized inventors from across DHS including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Coast Guard, and the Office of the General Counsel.

“At the heart of DHS’s innovation and success are our employees. It is my honor today to recognize these inventors for their efforts to advance the homeland security mission,” said Deputy Secretary Mayorkas. “Our inventors have shown commitment and dedication to the vision of protecting America by thinking outside the box, contributing their ideas and vision, and working in our labs and with our partners to create innovative and useful technologies. They have demonstrated that creativity and innovation are alive and well in our federal workforce.”

Interested in learning more? Read the S&T Press Release.

San Bernardino County, CA Request for Extension of Time to Execute an FRA with Nextel Granted

The FCC has granted San Bernardino County’s Request for Extension of Time to execute a Frequency Relocation Agreement (FRA) with Sprint Nextel. Although San Bernardino has received numerous extensions of the mediation period, the County still has not executed an FRA. However, all disputed issues have been resolved and the parties are in pre-contract agreement. Before the County can execute the FRA, it must be approved by the County Board of Supervisors.

For the FRA to be on the agenda of the Board of Supervisor’s meeting, the FRA must be submitted to the Board no later than one month prior to its next meeting. Sprint will submit a completed but unexecuted FRA to San Bernardino by June 9. The County will review the FRA and expects to obtain approval of the Board of Supervisors by August 18. The County will then execute the FRA and send it to Sprint for signature on August 21, 2015.

The FCC decided that San Bernardino’s extension request should be granted because the County employees had no control over the Board of Supervisors approval protocol. Since the County and Sprint had resolved all disputed issues, directing the TA to have the parties submit proposed resolution memoranda would be futile. Furthermore, the extension timeframe request was reasonably brief. The text of the Order is available at: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-614A1.pdf

Twelve Comments/Six Reply Comments Filed in 800 MHz Interstitial Proceeding

Twelve Comments and six Reply Comments were filed this month in the 800 MHz Interstitial proceeding, Docket 15-32. Most commenters supported the concept so long as incumbent licensees were protected from harmful interference. Permitting the introduction of interstitial channels operating on frequencies inserted at 12.5 kHz offset the existing 25 kHz 800 MHz “Interleaved” or “Mid-band” frequencies could provide much-needed spectrum relief in certain areas, particularly for non-PS applicants who are not able to file for spectrum vacated by Sprint Nextel until that spectrum reverts to its original allocation pool.

In general the commenters supported a maximum bandwidth of 11.25 kHz on the interleaved frequencies, primary operations, allocating the interstitial frequency to the pool of the lower adjacent and supported the concept of LMCC’s proposed technical matrix for coordinating interstitials against various technologies.

A few comments completely opposed the proposal, urging the Commission to abandon the proceeding calling it a step backward. Some commenters worried that the coordination matrix proposed by LMCC would be either too stringent to provide any spectrum relief or would be untenable in the real world.

UTC and a few utilities urged the FCC to license the interstitial frequencies only on a secondary, non-interference basis. Commenters also sought ways to protect the interests of incumbents such as establishing a one-year filing window during which only incumbent licensees could file for the interstitials and protecting all incumbents as though licensed for 22 kHz operations. Continue reading

Comment Sought on Proposed Technical Rules for 900 MHz Private Enterprise Broadband

The FCC is seeking comment on proposed technical rules for implementing a 900 MHz Private Enterprise Broadband (PEBB) allocation. The proposed rules were prepared and submitted by the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) and Pacific DataVision, Inc. (PDV) with participation and input from representatives of the Utilities Telecom Council, the American Petroleum Institute, and the American Association of Railroads and the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative.

The proposed rules include definitions, emission, and power limits, a transition process including voluntary and mandatory negotiations and third-party mediation, reimbursement of transition costs, and interference mitigation requirements based on the process codified in the 800 MHz technical rules.

Comments are due June 29; Reply Comments are due July 14.The text of the Public Notice is available at: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-579A1.pdf

The text of the proposed technical rules is available at: