November 22, 2016–The Federal Trade Commission said in comments filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today that NHTSA’s “thoughtful approach” in its request for comments on proposed industry guidance for highly automated vehicles will help ease the transition to fully autonomous vehicles “and usher in a new era in transportation – a new era made possible by, among other things, innovative uses of information.”
The FTC’s comments, written by Jessica Rich, director of the agency’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, key in on information privacy and security issues and say that it is “crucial” that vehicle makers and other entities “ensure that consumer protections are built in from the start.” The comments focused on a federal policy on automated vehicles released by NHTSA in September (TRDaily, Sept. 20). Continue reading
November 22, 2016–The FCC today released a relatively light tentative agenda consisting of real-time text (RTT) and Emergency Alert System (EAS) items for its Dec. 15 meeting in the wake of a call by congressional Republican leaders for the agency to avoid taking “controversial” actions during the remainder of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s tenure (TRDaily, Nov. 15). However, the tentative agenda said other items already on circulation could be considered at the Dec. 15 meeting if they are not voted on before the meeting.
Earlier this month, Mr. Wheeler pulled nearly all items from the agenda for the Nov. 17 meeting, telling reporters that Republican Commissioners Ajit Pai and Mike O’Rielly had asked that he remove all items from the meeting agenda, which had included a controversial business data services (BDS) order – a top priority of Mr. Wheeler (TRDaily, Nov. 16 and 17). Another priority of the Chairman is a set-top box order, which was pulled from the Sept. 29 meeting agenda when Democratic Commissioners could not reach agreement on the item (TRDaily, Sept. 29). That order remains on circulation.
Mr. Wheeler is clearly hoping to get other items through in case they aren’t adopted on circulation before the meeting, in light of the fact that the Dec. 15 meeting is likely be his last, as the January meeting is currently scheduled for Jan. 28 meeting, after the Trump administration takes over. Continue reading
Failing radio communications have put safety at risk for emergency officials in Hot Springs. Both the Hot Springs Fire and Police Departments have asked the city to upgrade their radio system but it would take a property tax increase. Officials say the system is worn out, undependable and hampers emergency operations. Poor broadcast quality and coverage issues have led both agencies to plead for the updated system. When the Majestic Hotel burned to the ground in 2014, neither agency could communicate with each other for 72 hours. Fire Lt. Davin Anderson said, “There’s been instances where we’re fighting fire on the inside, needing to make communications with incident command or safety officer on the outside and just unable to do it.” Failing Radio System Concerns Hot Springs Emergency Officials
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) released its top 10 state chief information officer (CIO) priorities for the coming year. Security, consolidation and cloud services continued to top the list as state technology leaders look toward 2017. The State CIO Top 10 showed IT security strategies and tools are at the top of the list across the states, with security topping the list of priority strategies for the third consecutive year. Cloud services and consolidation/optimization remained at the top as second and third rated priorities. “The survey results show a strong alignment between strategic plans and technology investment,” NASCIO President and Connecticut CIO Mark Raymond said. Security Tops NASCIO 2017 Priorities List
FirstNet held the Fall 2016 SPOC Meeting last week in Phoenix, Arizona with more than 150 combined SPOCs and SPOC Team members from 51 states and territories. The meeting included facilitated discussions about State Plan development and delivery and the people, priorities, and processes States will focus on during the next year, as well us updates from the Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Public Safety Communications Research, and Early Builders. Additionally, the meeting included individual consultation sessions with each of the 51 states and territories in attendance and a dedicated “Conversation Room,” which allowed SPOCs and their teams the opportunity for numerous individualized conversations with FirstNet Board members, executives, leadership, staff, and subject matter experts. Continue reading
November 18, 2016–The Department of Transportation is ready to release an often-delayed notice of proposed rulemaking concerning the use of cellphones for voice calls during flight. The item has been scheduled for release multiple times, but was delayed. The item is projected for publication tomorrow, according to a DoT update. In 2014, DoT released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking seeking views on whether it should ban wireless device calls on airplanes (TRDaily, March 4, 2014).
In 2015, a DoT advisory committee recommended that the agency leave it up to airlines to decide whether to permit passengers to use their wireless devices for voice calls during flight (TRDaily, Sept. 2, 2015). The DoT rulemaking was launched in the wake of a controversial NPRM adopted by the FCC in 2013 that proposed permitting airlines to allow passengers to use devices for voice communications above 10,000 feet (TRDaily, Dec. 12, 2013).
November 18, 2016–California is the latest in a series of states to seek information from industry about whether it would be better for the state to opt out of having the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet) partner build its radio access network (RAN). The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has issued a request for information asking industry to “suggest compelling business models and approaches for the building, deployment, and operation of a state-deployed broadband statewide public safety Radio Access Network (RAN) within California as an alternative to the FirstNet deployed RAN. Continue reading