Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Round Up, June 23, 2016

On Tuesday, June 21, 2016, the U. S. Senate had its chance to call on FirstNet and others to provide updates on progress being made. This was a subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet hearing chaired by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss). The hearing was titled “FirstNet, an Oversight update on the Status of the Public Safety Broadband Network.” This type of oversight hearing is required in the law and the House recently held its own hearing. The idea of a Senate hearing or any congressional hearing, for that matter, is to provide information to those on the committee holding the hearing and of course to any others who have an interest.

Those who are lined up as witnesses must write their remarks and pre-submit them to the committee so they can be read and questions formulated. At the actual hearing, the testimony is word-for-word what has already been presented, and only during question and answer sessions are there an opportunities for additional or follow-up remarks or information. Also during the hearing the committee members usually send a staffer or two to take notes and the actual committee members come in and out of the hearing so they can be counted as being present and so they can ask questions that, for the most part, their staffers have framed for them. While it is not a perfect system it is what we have and FirstNet is treated no differently from any other organization reporting its progress to the committee that has oversight. There were four witnesses at this hearing: Mike Poth, CEO of FirstNet; Jeffrey McLeod, Director of Homeland Security and Public Safety Division, National Governors Association; Major General Arthur Logan, the Single point of contact for FirstNet for the State of Hawaii, and the Adjutant General for Hawaii; and Andrew Katsaros, Assistant Inspector General for Audit, U.S. Department of Commerce (which is the organization within the federal government that has direct responsibility for FirstNet.)

The FirstNet CEO updated the committee on FirstNet’s progress and told the committee that barring unforeseen complications, FirstNet intends to award a partner contract by November 1 of this year. He then discussed the state, tribal, territory, and federal consultations that have been occurring in phases 1 and 2 of the state consultations. He also discussed the network as a catalyst for innovation and the Internet of Things (IoT), and ended by asking the committee to continue to support FirstNet’s efforts. The speaker from the National Governors Association (NGA) made a few statements worth repeating. First was the fact that the NGA believes the states’ choice to opt out is a “false choice” because of the unknown financial risks inherent with building out and managing the Radio Access Portion (RAN) in a state. He then turned to his concerns about rural coverage for the network, when it will be offered, and cost estimates for the service. These are all good questions but answers will have to wait until FirstNet and its partner sit down across from each other and have the types of discussions that should result in answers to these questions. The testimony from the gentleman from Hawaii was, for the most part, a positive report on the FirstNet and state consultation and data gathering process while the Assistant Inspector General’s comments were you would expect: FirstNet is doing better but is still not perfect and we are working with FirstNet to ensure it adheres to all of the Federal Rules and Regulations, nothing earth shattering, which is a good thing!

It is tough trying to convey all that is happening in the world of FirstNet to those who have been elected to serve us. I was interested to hear that the NGA was concerned about an issue that has been of concern to me as well. During 2017, there will be a number of new governors taking office, and perhaps some changes in those who are working with FirstNet from many states. It is possible that some of the momentum will be lost for some of the states and that the process for the opt-in or opt-out decision could become based on the political climate rather than the needs of the Public Safety community. My advice is still the same for all of the states: See what FirstNet and the partner are offering, accept it but make sure it can and will be expanded and updated as necessary going forward. Trying to go it alone, even with a vendor that is convincing in its rhetoric that it can provide a better system for a given state is still not a bet I would want to take to Las Vegas! The November 1 date for an award by FirstNet is aggressive given the size of this undertaking but it has recently demonstrated it can move forward more rapidly than many federal agencies so I hope it can make this deadline as well. If not, I am sure it will be soon after that when we will learn who the partner is. The award will mean yet another milestone has been reached.

In the past few weeks I have received some emails, not many, but some, from people who believe FirstNet will fail, and that it is simply a long way around to putting the spectrum back out to bid for a commercial carrier that will build it and find a way to accommodate the Public Safety community. Having been part of this and observing it for a long time, I believe those who think this will turn out badly for Public Safety are wrong, and I believe after FirstNet is up and running they will see FirstNet got it done in spite of all of the distractions along the way. Andy Seybold

Sen. Wicker: FirstNet’s Emergency Coverage in Rural Areas is a ‘Major Concern’CNSNews.com via Google Alerts Jun 23 16:10 … (R-MS) said Tuesday that the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet) efforts to extend emergency internet …

tv Hearing Focuses on the Public Safety Broadband Network CSPAN June 22, 2016 2:00am-3 …Internet Archive via Google Alerts Jun 23 06:10 State and federal officials testify at a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing on the Public Safety Broadband Network, or FirstNet, which sets aside …

Reps. Seek Update on NextGen 9-1-1 Implementation and Solutions to Patchwork 9-1-1 SystemNewsoneplace.com via Google Alerts Jun 23 18:25 Source: APCO – Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International Inc) June 22, 2016 – WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Reps. Norma J.

Boeing applies for license to launch proposed satellite constellationLA Times Jun 23 17:30 Boeing Co. has applied for a license from the Federal Communications Commission to launch and operate a network of thousands of satellites, joining companies such as SpaceX and OneWeb in the new race to build constellations for broadband Internet access. In its application filed Wednesday, Boeing…

FirstNet CEO: ‘$7 billion Doesn’t Go as far as It Used To’Benton Foundation via Google Alerts Jun 22 20:30 Lawmakers are concerned that federal plans for nationwide public safety …

Officials voice concerns over FirstNet roll outGCN.com via Google Alerts Jun 22 19:35 FirstNet officials say they will meet the deadline and budget goals for the nationwide wireless public safety network. “FirstNet continues to honor our …

FirstNet CEO Poth Testifies Before Senate Commerce Subcommittee on CommunicationsFirstNet via Google Alerts Jun 22 04:30 In his remarks, Mike stressed the importance of remembering that this is not FirstNet’s network; this is public safety’s network. The public safety …

Watchdog questions ‘aggressive’ FirstNet timelineFCW.com via Google Alerts Jun 21 23:35 FirstNet officials says they will meet the deadline and budget goals for the nationwide wireless public safety network, but the Commerce Department’s …

Lawmakers worry FirstNet won’t cover more remote areasFedScoop via Google Alerts Jun 21 19:10 CEO Michael Poth said FirstNet is relying on the private sector to develop the technologies to expand the national public safety broadband network’s …

FCC Aims To Accelerate 5G RolloutInformationWeek via Google Alerts Jun 21 15:50 At this very moment, the FCC is auctioning off 600MHz spectrum, the last of the low-band airwaves that can be put to use for mobile broadband.

Governors’ rep to Senate: States want more input into FirstNet plans, opt-out alternative is a ‘false …Urgent Communications via Google Alerts Jun 21 14:10 … officials about plans to deploy a nationwide public-safety broadband network, but some states want more of a partnership arrangement with FirstNet.

FirstNet Weekly Update to the Public Safety Advisory CommitteeNational Public Safety Telecommunications Council – npstc via Google Alerts Jun 21 00:10 FirstNet News FirstNet CEO Mike Poth will be testifying tomorrow at the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the …

Commissioners discuss potential 9-1-1 needs in the futurePetoskey News-Review via Google Alerts Jun 17 09:45 While it’s not sure when, Wonnacott added that a second round of narrow-banding is expected from the FCC. “We’re not how long our equipment will …

FirstNet Oversight: An Update on the Status of the Public Safety Broadband NetworkMake Me Feed via Google Alerts Jun 16 20:30 U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet, will convene the panel …

Elizabeth Warren Pushes FCC For Broadband Privacy RulesDSL Reports via Google Alerts Jun 23 17:15 The FCC was also nudged to action presumably by AT&T’s decision to …

3GPP completes standardisation of Narrowband-IoTWireless via Google Alerts Jun 23 16:35 GSMA welcomes 3GPP’s decision to include three types of narrowband in Release 13 NB-IoT eMTC and EC-GSM-IoT as it provides operators with a …

Broadband connections in India grew by 11.1% during quarter ending Sep-15MediaNama.com via Google Alerts Jun 23 09:45 India defines narrowband as internet connections with download speeds less than 512 kbps while the connections with download speeds faster than …

IBIA Endorses Privacy Best Practices for Facial RecognitionYahoo News via Google Alerts Jun 23 05:30 … Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) published June 16, 2016. The best practices, which focus on ensuring consumer privacy …

AT&T Settles on LTE for Cellular IoTIPv6.net via Google Alerts Jun 22 22:50 By Dan Jones AT&T is now set on Narrowband-LTE rather than LoRA or …

FACT SHEET: Enabling a New Generation of Aviation TechnologyEIN News via Google Alerts Jun 22 19:25 The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has also …

Learn more about the FCC’s Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau here: go.usa.gov/cS3YB …nopical.com via Google Alerts Jun 22 14:10 Learn more about the FCC’s Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau here: go.usa.gov/cS3YB #FCC101 #PublicSafety, Nopical.com.

NTIA publishes revised best drone practices guidanceInternational Association of Privacy Professionals via Google Alerts Jun 22 13:45 The guide is the culmination of a two-month public comment session and subsequent May 18 meeting on drone privacy and transparency issues.

GOP Fails to Sabotage FCC Lifeline Broadband Aid For the Poor. For Now.Motherboard via Google Alerts Jun 22 12:15 Republican efforts to cripple a major federal program that helps poor …

We Support NTIA’s Transfer of Internet PowerWall Street Journal via Google Alerts Jun 22 07:10 In The Battle Over Obama’s Internet Surrender (Information Age, June 13), L. Gordon Crovitz argues that the proposal submitted by the Internet …

Telstra & Samsung Reveal Major Investments In IoT TechnologyChannelNews via Google Alerts Jun 21 17:45 As we get later into the year, we’ll get future software drops and we’ll start activating the next generation, the narrowband IoT software, on our network …

You Deserve More Privacy From Your Broadband ProviderSlate Magazine via Google Alerts Jun 21 13:10 In 2015, as part of decision to uphold net neutrality, the FCC ruled that ISPs are common carriers. (The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of …

Net neutrality decision boosts FCC muni preemption case, but not enoughTellus Venture Associates via Google Alerts Jun 21 11:25 The federal appeals court ruling that upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s common carrier and network neutrality rules for broadband …

FCC responds to Congress inquiry on broadbandPolitico via Google Alerts Jun 21 10:10 Other points Horn made: 1) President Obama’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan does little to enhance public safety; 2) A growing shortage of …

Rohde & Schwarz first to validate high-power user equipment RF conformance tests for LTE band …Microwave Product Digest via Google Alerts Jun 21 07:20 In the USA, spectrum has been made available for a nationwide LTE-based public safety network. The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) …

high-speed mobile broadbandpcmag.com via Google Alerts Jun 21 06:55 FCC Moves to Open 5G Floodgates. The FCC wants to make new bands of licensed and unlicensed radio spectrum available for 5G networks. News …

United States Reauthorization Of The National Telecommunications And Information Administrationluziakonyk.ru via Google Alerts Jun 21 04:05 National Telecommunications and Information Administration . …

Public Safety AdvocateAndrew Seybold, Inc Jun 20 18:00 Fri Jun 17 12:36:32 2016 We now know who at least two of the FirstNet bidders are. In addition to the announcement by Rivada and […]