Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, March 2, 2017

FirstNet’s March Madness: As I write the first draft of this week’s Public Safety Advocate, I realize it is March 1, the date the Department of Justice (DOJ) apparently agreed it would wait for before making an RFP award for FirstNet. The court will be holding its oral arguments session this Friday and at some point after that, unless the court requires more information, a decision regarding the issue of Rivada being excluded from the final phase of the contract review will be decided.

If it is decided in favor of the federal government, it is possible an award could be made soon after the verdict is announced. However, if Rivada indicates it might take the matter to the next level of the justice system, the feds may feel they have to, once again, wait for that to play out. It is my belief that if Rivada pursues the next legal steps, the outcome, regardless of who wins, will be dismal for Rivada. I refer you back to a previous Public Safety Advocate in which I predicted that even if Rivada wins it will lose because Public Safety, the vendor community, and many state elected officials are upset about the current delay. More delays would only make it worse.

If Rivada wins the day, there will be another delay while those reviewing the contract for the federal government will have to consider Rivada’s RFP response and weigh the response against what is believed to be the only other RFP that has been moved to the final stage. After that is completed, there should be an award soon after and, hopefully, the losing entity will respect the final outcome and not cause any more delays to the process.

An interesting article by The Street reported that at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, AT&T had won the RFP award. FirstNet was quick to correct the Street and made it clear that no award has, as yet, been made. The FirstNet statement reported in the same article stated correctly, “A final decision of an award has yet to be made and is still under review.”

My optimistic view of all this is that March could be a month of high activity surrounding FirstNet. First, a favorable court decision with no appeal, next an award made to the last bidder standing, and perhaps even the issuance of the contract so the clock will start to move forward with a lot of activities all at once. The RFP, as you might recall, packs a lot of activity into the first six months of the contract including the preparation and delivery of the state plans so the states can begin their reviews and those reviewers within the state can make a recommendation to the governor of the state to opt-in to FirstNet building and maintaining the network within their state, or opt-out and then having to jump through hoops, first with the FCC, next the NTIA, and finally FirstNet.

Since the RFP was released last year, those in two of the organizations, the NTIA and the FCC, have changed personnel at least at the executive levels, and those who are now in charge will have to come up to speed on the opt-out process, then work with any state that wants to opt out to approve its own state plan. I am also sure there will be vendors that did not win the RFP that will be pushing various states to opt out in favor of that vendor building the network within the state. As you know, New Hampshire has already selected Rivada if it opts out, so it will be interesting to see how its governor decides to move forward. Alabama and Arizona, among others, also have RFPs on the street, California has an RFI out, and I am sure there might be others releasing documents as soon as the award is made.

And now we will pause for a word from our sponsors

So at this juncture I am including for the first time a blatant self-promotion about what we have been up to. For this past year, and on our own dime, we have been developing a series of strategies to help states and counties within those states work with FirstNet and the RFP winner to increase the amount of rural coverage provided to Public Safety while also helping to close the gap of what is being referred to as the digital divide for rural businesses and residents. The first thing we have learned is that there are a variety of ways using different types of technologies, partnerships, and other resources to augment what FirstNet and the RFP winner are capable of providing in rural areas. We have begun briefing some states and we are open to talking to counties that would like to consider our ideas and, of course, our services.

Now back to our regularly scheduled Advocate.

So March will either be a great month or yet another month of disappointments for many. I am counting on the fact that when we all show up at IWCE at the end of March, the madness that has prevailed will all have been good or great and that the next major phase of FirstNet will be at hand. Too many people have worked too hard, too many Public Safety agencies have been disappointed at the progress and delays, and it is time, this month, to put the delays aside and get this project back on track!  Andrew M. Seybold

FirstNet’s Message To Tech: First Responders Could Be The Next Big MarketNextgov
Mar  2 10:04 Public safety officers have unique needs, and tech companies need to start thinking about them.

Thune Open to Moving New Broadband Infrastructure Spending Through FCCMorning Consult via Google Alerts
Mar  2 01:55 Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune on Wednesday said he’s open to funneling a potential tranche of broadband infrastructure …

Bid protest continues to stall FirstNet awardFCW.com via Google Alerts
Mar  1 23:30 The First Responder Network Authority is preparing to announce the contract award for its nationwide broadband public safety network, and it is …

FCC – Remarks Of Zenji Nakazawa, Acting Public Safety Legal Adviser To Chairman Ajit Pai At The …Colorado Media.Net via Google Alerts
Mar  1 00:51 From the FCC: Remarks Of Zenji Nakazawa, Acting Public Safety Legal Adviser To Chairman Ajit Pai At The 9-1-1 Goes To Washington Conference, …

Government officials anxious for FirstNet clarity while contemplating long-term plansUrgent Communications via Google Alerts
Feb 28 21:51 Public safety may have the greatest interest in the outcome of a court …

FirstNet: Delivering to Public Safety the Capabilities They Need to Save Lives Theirs and the …Satellite PR News via Google Alerts
Feb 28 11:55 FirstNet is harnessing the power of the private sector to build and operate the Nation’s first dedicated, public safety communications network it is …

FirstNet: Building the Nation’s Dedicated, Advanced Public Safety Communications NetworkSatellite PR News via Google Alerts
Feb 23 13:26 Lives depend on first responders’ ability to communicate in disaster and emergency. That is why FirstNet was created to develop a wireless, mobile …

America’s 9-1-1 infrastructure is showing cracks, tooThe Hill via Google Alerts
Feb 23 11:40 … and the federal government’s FirstNet authority is developing a wireless broadband network for public safety field responders. But our 9-1-1 centers …

Boston, BayRICS to court: Please decide FirstNet case, so network construction can begin ASAPUrgent Communications via Google Alerts
Feb 23 03:35 Having a modern, reliable, and dedicated public-safety communications network is critically important to the safety of residents of municipalities …

4G network expansion and government’s national broadband plan to drive data revenue growth …WhaTech via Google Alerts
Mar  2 15:50 Research Beam has added a report, titled, : 4G Network Expansion through 2021. The report …

Telit NB-IoT Modules Integrated in Multiple Demonstrations at MWC 2017everything RF via Google Alerts
Mar  2 15:35 Telit will be showcasing all its six deployment-ready narrowband IoT (NBIoT) applications demos on a live network along with its ecosystem of …

Broadband lobbyists celebrate as FCC halts data security requirementsArsTechnica: Infinite Loop
Mar  2 15:13 Data security rule would have confused Internet users, FCC chair claims.

FCC Boss Calls Net Neutrality A ‘Mistake,’ Repeats Debunked Claim It Stifled Broadband InvestmentTechdirt Corporate Intelligence
Mar  2 15:11 So for several years now, the broadband industry (and the politicians, think tankers, and policy folk paid to love them) has desperately tried to claim that the FCC’s net neutrality rules killed investment in broadband networks, clouding the entire telecom market in a dark shroud of “regulatory uncertainty.” And it doesn’t matter how many times we (and others) debunk this claim, it just keeps popping up like an undead groundhog. The reality is this:…

Mobile World Congress: NarrowBand IoT pumping water at 250 kbpsDevice Insight via Google Alerts
Mar  2 14:11 Intel, Infineon Technologies and Device Insight present a joint project. Mobile World Congress: NarrowBand IoT pumping water at 250 kbps.

Overnight Tech: FCC votes to halt internet privacy rule | Snap prices IPO at $17 a share | Twitter’s security features | GOP confident Trump will act on broadband infrastructureTechnology
Mar  2 08:15 FCC VOTES TO HALT INTERNET PRIVACY RULE: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Wednesday voted 2-1 along party lines to prevent a new internet privacy rule from taking effect.The rule would have required internet service providers to…

TRAI & FCC sign LoI on accelerating broadband deployment & aligning spectrum policyIndiantelevision.com via Google Alerts
Mar  2 00:10 TRAI & FCC sign LoI on accelerating broadband deployment & aligning spectrum …

Bill would use phone fund to pay for rural broadbandEast Oregonian via Google Alerts
Mar  1 23:30 These days the Federal Communications Commission’s standard for …

Cisco is expanding its reach in the Internet of Things (CSCO)Pulse Nigeria via Google Alerts
Mar  1 21:00 The company announced Jasper will now support narrowband IoT LPWAN connectivity. The narrowband IoT protocol is ideal for Industrial IoT (IIoT) …

FCC Chair Makes Case for Less Regulatory OversightPhone Scoop
Mar  1 10:06 Speaking at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai laid out his vision for moving the FCC forward. Specifically, Pai wants to foster innovation and investment in 5G. In order to do that, says Pai, the government must be less restrictive than it has been. “The key to realizing our 5G future is to set rules that will maximize investment in broadband. For if we don’t, the price could be steep. After all, networks don’t have to be built. Capital doesn’t have to be s

NNNCo and Actility ready to begin rollout of Australia’s first nationwide industrial IoT networkActility via Google Alerts
Mar  1 07:10 Actility, the industry leader in low power wide area networking, and the National Narrowband Network Co, Australia’s leading LORaWAN network …

MWC in Barcelona: NB-IoT for smart cities and other use casesB2B Europe Blog – Deutsche Telekom via Google Alerts
Mar  1 02:40 Among many solutions, we present at our booth smart city use cases based on Narrowband IoT technology. Soon, mobile operators will connect more …

Huawei tells MWC delegates: 2017 is ‘Year of NB-IoT’Connections Plus via Google Alerts
Mar  1 00:55 Huawei has predicted that 2017 will be the year of scale commercial rollout for Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) at the annual GSMA Global …

FCC – Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Seeks Comment on Wireless Carriers’ Privacy …Colorado Media.Net via Google Alerts
Feb 28 23:51 From the FCC: Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Seeks Comment on Wireless Carriers’ Privacy and Security Plan for the National …

AT&T Has FirstNet Public Safety Deal in the Bag SourcesLight Reading via Google Alerts
Feb 28 23:30 BARCELONA — Mobile World Congress 2017 — AT&T looks set to win the $7 billion contract to build the long-awaited FirstNet nationwide LTE network …

AT&T Said to Win $7B FirstNet Public Safety Network DealTheStreet.com via Google Alerts
Feb 28 16:40 At the Mobile World Congress 2017 in Barcelona, it is being reported that AT&T (T) has won the $7 billion contract to build the long-awaited FirstNet …

FCC Chairman wants to bring faster, cheaper broadband to all – CNETCNet
Feb 28 07:10 The newly christened head of the Federal Communications Commission outlines his vision for light-touch regulation that he believes will spur investment in future networks.

FCC rolls back net neutrality ISP transparency rulesPC World
Feb 23 15:01 The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has voted to roll back some net neutrality regulations that require broadband providers to inform customers about their network management practices. The Republican-controlled FCC on Thursday suspended the net neutrality transparency requirements for broadband providers with fewer than 250,000 subscribers. Critics called the decision anticonsumer. The transparency rule, waived for five years in a 2-1 party-line vote Thursday, requires broadband provider

FCC Seeks Comment On Rule To Let TV Stations Test Next Gen TransmissionsDeadline via Google Alerts
Feb 23 14:52 My position is clear: Let’s allow broadcasters who wish to move forward with ATSC 3.0 pursue this pro-consumer, pro-public safety path as quickly as …

NTIA Extends Comment Period for Its Paper “Fostering the Advancement of the Internet of Things”CircleID via Google Alerts
Feb 23 14:20 Robert Cannon writes: Over the past year, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in the Department of Commerce has …

Sequans and Orion Labs Partner to Develop First LTE-enabled Wearable with Monarch LTE-M ChipYahoo Finance via Google Alerts
Feb 23 14:11 Monarch is the world’s first and most highly-optimized LTE-M (Cat M1) and NB-IoT (Cat NB1) chip. It is purpose-built for narrowband IoT applications, …

Deutsche Telekom to expand NarrowBand-IoT across EuropeTelecom Lead via Google Alerts
Feb 23 14:11 DEUTSCHE TELEKOM revenue details Deutsche Telekom will launch NarrowBand-IoT (NB-IoT) in Germany in the second quarter of 2017 as part of …

FCC Greenlights ATSC 3.0TV Technology via Google Alerts
Feb 23 12:51 With support from television manufacturers, public TV stations and the public safety community, NAB looks forward to next-gen TV’s giant leap into …