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

Happy Thanksgiving Weekend! Unfortunately, I am back on my rant about the politics of Public Safety communications. Last week I talked about LA City pulling out of LA-RICS, this week, Urgent Communications reported that LA City requested that the UASI grant for the LA-RICS LMR P-25 network, awarded in 2011 and already allocated by LA-RICS, be rescinded! Who are the losers in all of these political games? The Public Safety community and the citizens of the country.

LA is not the only place politics has played a part in obstructing the deployment of needed Public Safety Land Mobile Radio and even Broadband networks. Consider the cancellation of the BTOP grants by NTIA once FirstNet was voted into existence. Most of the BTOP grants were to pay for pilot LTE Public Safety systems but were cancelled, the money was recalled, and the grants were never renewed. The Pilots cancelled included the City of Charlotte, which would have had Public Safety LTE up and running for the Democratic Convention in that city a few years ago. The State of Mississippi which had already purchased its equipment and not only was its grant recalled, it was told to dismantle the system it had started. And so it was for Bay RICS in Northern California and others. As a result, the Harris County, Texas system, which was not even part of the BTOP grants what is left of the LA-RICS system, the New Jersey deployable system, and the Colorado system, which is small but has been extended to cover some areas in New Mexico, are all that FirstNet has up and running to prove out the technology, applications, and devices.

We should have had entire states (Mississippi), major cities, LA-RICS and Bay RICS, medium-sized cities (Charlotte), and more up and operating by now. If all of these had been allowed to move forward instead of being shut down by the NTIA, we would have a much better feel for how much spectrum is needed by Public Safety, how much secondary spectrum might be available for use by a partner, and the types of devices and applications that are most important to first responders. The political side of Public Safety communications deployments, expansions, and maintaining existing budgets are growing increasingly heated. Many elected officials were falsely convinced that if they opted out of FirstNet they would receive a windfall of money from the secondary use of the FirstNet spectrum.

Other politicians have come to believe that the FirstNet network will negate the expense of their existing Public Safety LMR network as soon as next week, and others are simply more interested in appearing to be “smart” in public than they are in trying to understand the needs of the Public Safety community and the impact of their politically motivated decisions. The unfortunate truth is that as long as there are political animals trying to be re-elected and trying to prove how smart they are, Public Safety communications will continue to receive the short straw. We all thought that with FirstNet each city and county would be treated the same by the states, yet politics are lurking in many state capitals. Which counties voted for the “right party” and therefore deserve better coverage? I am hoping that this does not come to pass, but it is only logical to think about the issue in terms of the existing political landscape. There apparently is no solution to the problem, and of course Public Safety communications is not the only area to suffer from the political scene. Every week when I sort the stories to include in my summary, I avoid stories about Congress failing to pass the extension of the bill to assist the first responders injured in the 9/11 tragedy and many other Public Safety-related issues. I wish I had a solution, but I don’t. Andy

ITU Globally Harmonizes 700-MHz LTE SpectrumCommunications Today via Google Alerts Nov 25 23:30 The ITU this week globally harmonized the 700-MHz band by allocating it for LTE use in ITU Region 1, which covers Europe, Africa, the Middle East …

Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Seeks Comment on FirstNet’s Incumbent Relocation …Federal Register via Google Alerts Nov 25 13:55 This document seeks comment on the ex parte proposal made by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to facilitate the relocation of …

IllinoisNational Telecommunications and Information Administration – Department of Commerce via Google Alerts Nov 27 06:55 … Statewide Interoperable Executive Committee (SIEC), and Illinois Terrorism Task ForceNational Public Safety Broadband Network Working Group …

VermontNational Telecommunications and Information Administration – Department of Commerce via Google Alerts Nov 27 06:55 Vermont will establish the Vermont Public Safety Broadband Network Commission (Commission) to implement the State and Local Implementation …

Michigan | NTIAMichigan | NTIA – Department of Commerce via Google Alerts Nov 27 06:25 The State plans to update its Statewide Communication Interoperability Plan as part of SLIGP, and will use an expanded Public Safety Broadband …

California Broadband Workshop Shows Work Still Needed to Close Digital DivideNewsoneplace.com via Google Alerts Nov 26 18:20 Source: NTIA – National Telecommunications and Information Administration) Even at the epicenter of the high-tech revolution, there are digital haves …

UK govt finds up to 550M to clear 700 MHz bandMobile World Live via Google Alerts Nov 26 10:30 It estimated that additional mobile broadband frequencies will bring benefits to the UK of 900 million to 1.3 billion because they enable operators to …

FirstNet starts to develop BYOD policy for devices on public safety networkGlobal Wireless Research via Google Alerts Nov 25 10:45 FirstNet said it is taking steps to develop and implement an effective bring-your-own device (BYOD) policy for the nationwide public safety broadband.

Poth: FirstNet Welcomes All PartnershipsNational Public Safety Telecommunications Council – NPSTC via Google Alerts Nov 24 02:35 The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is interested in all …

Google+Google+ via Google Alerts Nov 20 23:15 The Myers Model: FirstNet and the Public Safety Broadband Network — States ready to deploy the Public Private Partnership (P3) model!!! …

UPCOMING EVENTSGuam PSBN via Google Alerts Nov 20 10:10 Guam Public Safety Broadband Network (Guam PSBN) is a program to prepare Guam for the design, deployment and operation of the Nationwide …

FCC Slams Door to Higher Pole Attachment RatesJD Supra via Google Alerts Nov 26 15:05 … windfalls resulting from the FCC’s February 2015 Net Neutrality order (which we analyzed here) that defined Broadband Internet Access Service as …

700 MHz band confirmed for mobile broadband useDigital Spy Forums via Google Alerts Nov 26 12:55 BBC4HD and CBeebiesHD may be moving to PSB3 in the near future, that’s if BBC4 survives the next round of cuts. All the channels on COM7 are …

2016 set to be a critical year for defining the future of LPWA networks and IoT connectivityM2M World News via Google Alerts Nov 26 11:30 Meanwhile, the ongoing standardization work within 3GPP, covering the LTE-M and NarrowBand IoT initiatives, is paving the way for the arrival of …

Analysis of the Coexistence of Broadcast and LTE services in the 700 MHz Band in PeruGSMA via Google Alerts Nov 25 23:30 The Digital Dividend (or 700 MHz band) is the spectrum portion located …

Wheeler unveils net neutrality proposal; now what?WebTechReview via Google Alerts Nov 25 22:00 More like this Broadband backers advance GOP-led Congress to annul FCC on net neutrality FCC affiliate knocks net neutrality plan, warns of catlike.

FCC – Agenda Announced for FCC and CU Boulder Public Safety and Telecommunications …Colorado Media.Net via Google Alerts Nov 25 07:35 From the FCC: Agenda Announced for FCC and CU Boulder Public Safety and Telecommunications Cybersecurity Summit On Dec. 7, 2015, the FCC …

Internet Policy Task ForceNational Telecommunications and Information Administration – Department of Commerce via Google Alerts Nov 25 06:46 National Telecommunications and Information Administration. NTIA logo background, You are here: …

Paraguay planning auction in 700 MHz, 2.6 GHz bandsTelecompaper via Google Alerts Nov 25 01:17 Paraguay is set to release spectrum for LTE use in the 700 MHz and 2.6 GHz bands once it has completed its auction of frequencies in the 1,700-2100 …

Vehicular Repeater Item Circulating at FCCNational Public Safety Telecommunications Council – NPSTC via Google Alerts Nov 24 03:25 A draft Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau item addressing an amendment of sections 90.20(d) and 90.265 of the FCC’s rules to facilitate the …

Open Internet, Emergency Alerts, Enforcement, FirstNetThe National Law Review via Google Alerts Nov 23 21:20 The rule requires Broadband Internet Access Service providers to publicly disclose certain information pertaining to their network management …

Department of commerce national telecommunications and information administration digital …ramyhosting.com via Google Alerts Nov 20 22:06 commerce department information of administration telecommunications and national digital converter. Per clnverter. The FCC afrikaans emmanuel …

Public Knowledge, Other Consumer Groups Urge FCC to Protect Text Messaging UsersPublic Knowledge Tech News and Comment via Google Alerts Nov 20 20:00 … affect public safety, innovation, and free speech. As a legal matter, given that voice and data are both telecommunications services, the FCC should …

Rosenworcel: Strengthen Security With FM ChipsRadio World via Google Alerts Nov 20 17:45 All in all, however, the commissioners and chairman praised the work of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security bureau for bringing the issue …