August 2015 SAFECOM Bulletin Available Now

The August 2015 SAFECOM monthly bulletin, including a summary of each Committee’s progress and SAFECOM organization events is now available on the SAFECOM website. This outreach tool can be distributed to your member organizations for awareness. Association highlights and current events for future incorporation can be submitted to SAFECOMgovernance@hq.dhs.gov.

TR Daily Reports Bureau Aims to Improve Handling of Public Safety, Industry Interference

Editor’s Note: NPSTC was instrumental in a collaborative effort of stakeholders that urged the FCC to revise the original proposed plan to close FCC Field Offices. Under the revised plan, 15 field offices would remain open with monthly visits to a 16th location.  The plan involves two mobile “tiger teams” and a complaint escalation process to assure that disruptions to critical communications are resolved in a timely manner. 

NPSTC appreciates the Commission’s support to its field staff by utilizing the dollars saved to upgrade field equipment and facilities and the public safety stakeholders who reported instances of interference which NPSTC presented to the Commission. To many outside the D.C. Beltway, the FCC is the local field office.  Maintaining a presence in the remaining cities will contribute significantly to compliance with the FCC Rules and Regulations and uninterrupted communications. The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has announced enhanced procedures for handling public safety and industry interference complaints. 

In its order reorganizing the bureau’s field operations, the FCC directed the bureau to establish procedures to escalate such complaints and ensure the bureau’s field offices respond to them in a timely manner.

“This Public Notice implements that direction by committing to enhance the Commission’s complaint intake and case management systems,” the bureau said.  “These procedures may be refined based on experience, the Commission’s resources, and other enforcement priorities. We are confident that this escalation process will improve EB’s responsiveness and performance for public safety and industry interference complaints.”

The bureau said it would work with other parts of the agency to establish a web portal for complaints from public safety and industry regarding interference.  “Once operational, the complaint intake system should allow such complainants to receive immediate confirmation of the FCC’s receipt of their complaints, as well as permit them to track the status of their complaints within the FCC,” it said.  “The complaint intake system also will automatically transfer complaint information from the web portal to EB’s case management database, accelerating investigations and reducing the possibility of human error. The planned complaint intake enhancements will not supersede existing methods used by public safety entities to communicate with the FCC.”

“The public safety/industry interference complaint escalation process will improve complainants’ ability to stay informed of the status of their complaint,” the bureau said.  “This process also will enable public safety/industry stakeholders to develop mutually beneficial relationships with the EB field agents in their area. By streamlining interference complaint intake and response, this process will help serve the overall efficiency and resource management goals of the ongoing field modernization effort and result in more effective enforcement for our highest priority interference complaints.” – Brian Hammond, brian.hammond@wolterskluwer.com

Read the order here:  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-967A1.pdf

LightSquared Files Final GPS Sensitivity Measurement Plan

LightSquared has filed with the FCC a final GPS Sensitivity Measurement Plan prepared by its consultants, aiming to collect data on the impact that a GPS device user may experience when L-band LTE downlink and uplink signals are present.  In the ex parte filing today, LightSquared said it had previously reported preliminary details and updates on its test plans in earlier filings and that testing is already under way.

 

800 MHz Waiver Granted to Allow Sprint to Roll Out LTE in Portland

The Mobility Division of the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has granted Sprint Corp. a waiver to allow it to deploy wideband operations at 821-824/866-869 megahertz in portions of the Washington State National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) Region before completion of the 800 MHz band reconfiguration in that region.

“Granting the Waiver Request will permit LTE deployment in the greater Portland metropolitan area, providing Sprint’s subscribers access to these valuable broadband wireless services while protecting the remaining public safety entities from harmful interference,” division Chief Roger Noel said in an Aug. 24 letter to Sprint.  The waiver is conditioned on Sprint’s maintaining a 70-mile co-channel separation between its operations and those of the closest operational public safety site in Clark, Cowlitz, Pacific, and Skamania counties; on Sprint’s providing 30 days’ notice to specified public safety entities still operating in the band; and on Sprint’s immediate suspension of operations under the waiver if it is notified that public safety licensees are experiencing interference.

Courtesy TR Daily

FCC’s Enforcement Bureau Enhances Procedures for Public Safety and Industry Interference Complaints

The FCC said on August 27, 2015,  “In its Field Modernization Order, the Commission directed the Enforcement Bureau (EB) to establish procedures for public safety and industry complainants to escalate their complaints to ensure that EB’s field offices timely respond to these complaints. This Public Notice implements that direction by committing to enhance the Commission’s complaint intake and case management systems. These procedures may be refined based on experience, the Commission’s resources, and other enforcement priorities. We are confident that this escalation process will improve EB’s responsiveness and performance for public safety and industry interference complaints.

Background. Complaints from public safety and industry entities generallyReleased:  08/27/2015.  ENFORCEMENT BUREAU ENHANCES PROCEDURES FOR PUBLIC SAFETY AND INDUSTRY INTERFERENCE COMPLAINTS. (DA No.  15-967).  EB  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-967A1.pdf

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate August 28, 2015

The FirstNet Industry half day was held on Thursday August 27, 2015. I was one of about 250 people in attendance and there were, reportedly, another 150 on the web-cast and/or the phone bridge. The event was a very good show by FirstNet, they certainly had they act together, from the New CEO, the Newly Appointed President, the contracting Officer Terrie Callahan, and the rest of the speakers. Mike Poth, the new CEO did a great job of talking about his interest in helping FirstNet succeed, and the business model, and TJ did a great job of showing why an investment in FirstNet was a better bet for potential bidders than the 600 MHz auctions.

It was an interesting pitch with them pointing out the opportunity that partnering with FirstNet provides both existing commercial networks and others who might be interested in partnering with FirstNet. Other speakers included the folks who are leading the effort to get the RFP out on the street, and one of the most important missing part of the RFP, the criteria for evaluation was talked about, briefly by Terrie Callahan, the Contract officer. She gave us some good input on what was expected but left us all waiting for more which may or may not follow prior to the final release of the RFP. I give FirstNet high marks for this event, well planned, well timed and plenty of time for questions. In fact they were willing to stick around until the last question was asked which they did!

The main issue for me and for a number of the others I talked to is that the message that came from this event could be considered as a major shift in the RFP documents. In an effort to clarify what they wanted in a partner many of the FirstNet speakers, including the top brass and the contract officer said over and over again (paraphrased): We want you to be creative, we want you to reply to the RFP and tell us how you are going to meet the 16 key requirements which we have identified as key to the success of FirstNet from a Public Safety Perspective. So, if I was going to submit a response to the RFP would I wade through the 300+ pages of the document, some of which, at this point, contradict themselves, some of which are missing or do I respond as they are asking me to: List each of the 16 requirements and talk about my solution for obtaining that goal and in fact, all of the goals?

I am confused at this point, there is a lot of verbiage in the RFP but we kept hearing that they want innovative ways to meet these 16 objectives. But at this point I am guessing that if I responded and delivered a document which outlined specific ways to meet and in some cases exceed, all 16 of these requirements I would not meet some of the requirements of the RFP and would be disqualified. As much as FirstNet is trying to help, in some cases they are simply throwing more doubt into the process. If they want innovative ways to meet and provide all of the 16 goals why is the RFP 300 pages long? Again I give high marks to the very dedicated people at FirstNet, it is obvious form listening to all of them that this IS about Public Safety and not about anything else. They truly want to deliver the best network they can with the right choice of partners. However, as I said in my comments, this RFP is NOT about the Feds asking for a fixed price bid for widgets or even a multi-million dollar jet.

It should not be onerous with penalties and other means of insuring that the partner does what is required and it is not about the partners funding FirstNet or the network until there is an income stream to help both the partner (s), Public Safety and FirstNet. The slides from the FirstNet Industry day can be found here: http://www.firstnet.gov/sites/default/files/Aug%2027%20Industry%20Day%20Presentation_0.pdf Have a great week-end! Andy

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Mobile Networks Seen Playing Key Role in Early Earthquake Warnings

Telecommunications and public safety officials are moving forward on efforts to deploy a system to use mobile networks to broadcast early earthquake warnings to cellphones in potentially affected areas, according to speakers on a webcast organized by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS).

During a discussion on “Early Earthquake Warning System Notifications: Leveraging the Power of the Commercial Cellular Network,” Mark Johnson, branch chief of the earthquake and tsunami program at the California Office of Emergency Services, noted that California is working on such a system. The next steps in the process involve scheduling workshops with various partners in the process, Mr. Johnson said.  Continue reading