FCC’s TAC Gets Updates from Working Group on Smartphone Theft Prevention

The FCC’s Technological Advisory Council today received updates from its working groups on progress they are making on a myriad of issues, such as ways to prevent the theft of smartphones and efforts to secure “Internet of things” consumer devices. The panel also held off authorizing a proposed ad hoc group to begin work in earnest to study the RF noise floor and interference.

During today’s meeting at the FCC’s headquarters, the TAC got updates from its eight working groups on their progress toward studying a variety of issues. Continue reading

Drone Privacy Stakeholders Debate Length, Language, Scope of Best Practices Doc

Whether best practices for privacy, accountability, and transparency issues regarding commercial and private use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, should be written for consumers or lawyers, and whether they should encompass issues beyond what is required by law, were among the issues debated today by participants in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s multistakeholder process to develop those best practices.

The multistakeholder process is the outcome of a presidential memorandum issued in February that called for promoting U.S. economic competitiveness in domestic UAS use while protecting privacy rights, civil rights, and civil liberties (TRDaily, Feb. 17).  Harley Geiger, advocacy director and senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology, and Carl Szabo, policy counsel at NetChoice, each offered a starting draft for the best practices document.

Mr. Szabo suggested that Mr. Geiger’s proposal was too long and too lawyerly, whereas he believed that the target audience is “someone who owns a UAV,” or unmanned aerial vehicle.  However, he said he “would love to incorporate a bunch of Harley’s points.” Continue reading

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, September 25, 2015

First, thanks to all who pushed my DirecTV problem up the chain. Boy did I get a quick response and now have the product I wanted installed not by a contractor but a real, live DirecTV employee. There are a number of happenings in the news this week that could have an impact on both the Public Safety community and FirstNet. Verizon announced that for the first time it will be offering a new class of LTE service it calls “priority service” for both the Internet of Things (IoT) and corporate applications. There will be a per-user fee for this new service Verizon refers to as mission-critical. Obviously, I take issue with several things it is doing.

First, what it is offering is really a higher level of Quality of Service (QoS) as opposed to true priority, and second, paying for this service still does not ensure you will have access when the network is overloaded in your area. I am also concerned that Verizon’s use of the term “mission-critical service” might entice some of the Public Safety agencies considering joining FirstNet to perhaps stay with Verizon if they believe this offering is true “mission-critical” access to their network, which it is not. The last issue I have is that during the years the Public Safety Alliance was working with Congress and the FCC, both Verizon and AT&T stated publicly that they would not provide priority access for the first responder community because it would not be good for their shareholders.

Now it appears it is okay if they charge for a higher level of service for those who want and need it. But it is still not the full pre-emptive priority that the Public Safety community really needs. Strange thought that this would not run afoul of the FCC Net Neutrality rules. Continue reading

Register Now: Free “State of 9-1-1” Webinar, October 13, 2015, 12pm ET

Join this installment of the National 911 Program webinar series to discuss the availability of free Federal 911 technical assistance offerings to promote the resiliency of emergency communications nationwide and hear an NG911 update from New York State and its statewide Addressing project.

Speakers Include:

  • Federal Update: Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Emergency Communications (DHS OEC) Director, Rear Admiral Ronald Hewitt, USCG (Ret.), and Chief of Technical Assistance Branch, Serena Maxey will discuss technical assistance available to the 911 community and methods for requesting support.
  • Stakeholder Update: New York State Office of Information Technology Services, Street and Address Maintenance Program’s Cheryl Benjamin will share experience in building an Address Points file to support NG911 and integration plans with their statewide streets database.

About the State of 911 Webinar Series: Hosted by the National 911 Program, the webinar series brings together NG911 early adopter case studies and Federal and 911 community resources, to provide a combination of useful tools, expert advice, and real stories about NG911 transitions.


Cyber-Physical Systems Framework Issued by NIST for Public Comment

A draft framework to guide the development of cyber-physical systems (CPS) has been issued for public comment by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  The comment deadline is Nov. 2. Developed in partnership with industry, academic, and government experts in the NIST CPS Public Working Group (CPS PWG), the publication has taken more than a year to develop (TRDaily, Aug. 7).

The framework is intended to provide a methodology for understanding, designing, and building CPS, including those with multiple applications, according to David Wollman, deputy director of NIST’s Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office.

“Creating a complex device involves a lot of people with varying interests and concerns, from the designers to the engineers to the safety testers,” Mr. Wollman said.  “What the framework provides is an organized treatment of these concerns so the group can address and manage them all effectively.  It will prompt them to think of concerns they may not be aware of, and support understanding and integration of different CPS.” Continue reading

CSRIC Working Group Agendas Highlight Cybersecurity Issues

Several of the eight working groups of the Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council – an advisory committee that provides the FCC with recommendations to ensure communications systems security, reliability, and interoperability and that is now in its fifth iteration –  highlighted the need to dig into cybersecurity issues as part of their planned efforts through 2017.

At a meeting of CSRIC held September 21 at the FCC’s headquarters in Washington, Jeffery Goldthorp, associate chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and the FCC’s designated federal officer to CSRIC, said today’s second meeting of the current iteration of CSRIC is “where we are really getting the business started.”  He said that all CISRIC working groups had chairpersons, and membership “enough to start work.”

Working Group 1, which is looking at evolving 911 services, is tasked with reviewing public safety and industry best practices on legacy and next-generation 911 services with a view toward optimizing best practices on call rerouting, and is scheduled to issue a report on that subject in March 2016, said group co-chair Susan Sherwood of Verizon Wireless.   The group also plans to make recommendations on location-based routing including the reliability and accuracy of location data sources and the transition from location path to location-based routing, and to offer recommendations by September 2016, she said. Continue reading

PSAP Task Force to Meet September 29, 2015

The next meeting of the FCC’s Task Force on Optimal PSAP Architecture (TFOPA) is scheduled for Sept. 29 from 1-4 p.m. in the Commission meeting room. “The Task Force will vote on a report and recommendations from Working Group 3 – Optimal Resource Allocation. It will also hear updates from Working Group 1 – Cybersecurity and Working Group 2 – Optimal Architecture,” according to a Public Notice.

FCC Requests Comments on Two RPC Proposals re Six Former 700 MHz Reserve Channels

On September 21, 2015, the FCC released Public Notices requesting comments on two Regional Planning Committee (RPC) proposals to incorporate the six former 700 MHz reserve channels designated for deployable trunked systems into their regional plans.  These six channels were previously recommended by NPSTC and the NRPC, and subsequently approved by the FCC, for deployable trunked system use.  RPCs have until October 30 to amend their regional plans. Both Region 5 in southern California and Region 20 in the DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia submitted requests for FCC approval of proposed amendments to their respective regional plans. Comments are due by October 21, 2015.  In seeking comments, the FCC advised that it has tentatively accepted the plan amendments and that the amendments will be approved without further action if no objections are raised during the comment period.

Following are the links for the Public Notices.






FirstNet Announces Board, Committee Meetings

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) today announced its full board and committee meetings scheduled for next month. The meetings will be held at FirstNet’s headquarters in Reston, Va. The Governance and Personnel Committee and Finance Committee are scheduled to meet jointly from 8-11:30 a.m. Oct. 1, while the Technology Committee and Consultation and Outreach Committee are scheduled to meet from 1-4:30 p.m. Oct. 1. The full board is scheduled to meet from 8-11 a.m. Oct. 2.

Courtesy TRDaily



NASNA Releases Best Practices

The National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA) has released a white paper recommending best practices for coordination between 911 and emergency management authorities. “911 people and emergency management people often do not work together as well as they could,” said Harriet Miller-Brown, president of NASNA. “This paper is a tool that local and state 911 managers and authorities can use to identify practical things they can do to ensure that 911 becomes part of what emergency managers do.” The paper recommends collaboration among stakeholders through local emergency planning committees, local emergency operations centers, state emergency response commissions, tribal emergency response commissions, emergency management agencies, state emergency operations centers, and telecommunicator emergency response task forces.

Courtesy TRDaily