Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, March 9, 2017

 While We Wait for FirstNet Revision 2.  A few years ago I wrote about how Public Safety could begin to prepare for the addition of FirstNet to its communications capabilities. Since then we have seen more delays and have learned more about what the first responder community wants and needs as well as what many states are thinking about the FirstNet deployment.

On March 3, 2017, the U.S. Federal Court heard oral arguments from both sides of the case. FirstNet was represented by federal attorneys assigned to the case and I am sure Rivada Mercury showed up with a sizable contingent as well. According to an article in Urgent Communications , Rivada Mercury says it expects a ruling within the next two weeks. There is little information available on what went on in the closed hearing so I am hopeful Rivada’s estimate on the timing is correct. It still seems like yet another long wait.

I will preface this next section with the disclaimer that I am not an attorney nor do I pretend to be one, but I am both puzzled and troubled that I am hearing from people I know and trust within a number of states and who will remain as “sources” that a big-name member of a past President’s administration has been visiting with governors of the same party and trying to convince them to opt out of FirstNet. It is merely speculation on my part, but I believe this person is working on behalf of Rivada Mercury. It seems inappropriate to me that this activity is occurring during the time the RFP process is being challenged in Federal Court by the same company.

Meanwhile, work continues. The FirstNet team seems to be all over the place recently, meeting with many states, tribal entities, and groups. The interest in FirstNet is still high, and I just saw, as I write this, a report inMission Critical Communications that Colorado will be releasing an RFP by the end of March or early April to help it make a decision regarding the opt-in or opt-out process. I am still hoping that most states will choose to opt in since I view this as the starting point of the eventual coverage that will be implemented over time as the network matures. I have stated many times that I believe whoever wins the RFP will be willing to work with the states so the network can be augmented by various methods. As many of you know, this is an area my team and I have been investigating for more than a year now.

FirstNet has lost valuable time, first with the early disruption to the board of directors and the over-reaction from the NTIA, and now from the lawsuit. We really need to get past this and get into design and build mode. One of the things I am still concerned about is the six-month window established by FirstNet to create and deliver state plans. This is not a lot of time and the process is far too important not to allow sufficient time for multiple interactions with the states. Ideally, I think each state (tribal area, territory) should be presented with a FirstNet draft plan, have time to hold internal meetings, meet with FirstNet and the RFP winner (Partner) again, and then be presented with a final plan that can be accepted or rejected by the state.

If this network is to attract the Public Safety community as users, it must be built correctly. It must provide the broadband pipe everywhere it is needed, it must support great applications that enable the Public Safety community to better serve the public and stay safe, and it must co-exist for many years with the land mobile radio systems that are the mainstay of Public Safety communications. This network has to be viewed as a must-have by the Public Safety community or it will fail to deliver what so many have been working for. I firmly believe FirstNet will be successful. I hope the Public Safety community will give it time to be built, tested, and then put into service. I also hope both FirstNet and its Partner will be listening to the Public Safety community about operational issues, coverage, and other items, and that they will respond in a positive way to make the user experience the best it can be.

However, before any of this can happen, the RFP award must be made. I hope that however the court rules, this will be the end of the legal challenges and we can start working on building the network. Business is business and investments have been made in this process. However, each and every vendor that submitted a response to the RFP, and those that decided not to, all had one common goal in addition to financial success and that was to serve the Public Safety community. More delays do not serve the Public Safety community and hopefully they will be avoided in the future.

Andrew M. Seybold

HughesNet Claims First FCC Broadband Defined 25 Mbps Satellite Broadband ServiceTelecompetitor via Google Alerts
Mar  8 04:30 JUPITER, in turn, will rely on EchoStar XIX, a satellite asset of Hughes’ parent EchoStar, as well as EchoStar XVII, which is currently in orbit and …

Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO)SunGard Public Sector via Google Alerts
Mar  7 11:50 Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International Annual Conference 2017. Denver, CO on August …

APCO Project 25 STANDARDS FOR PUBLIC SAFETY DIGITAL RADIODocPlayer.net via Google Alerts
Mar  7 06:30 Each one has its own set of features thatmay or may not suit public safety organizations. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials …

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 …

Cisco’s Jasper deal one year, 18 million new IoT devices later, challenges remainNetwork World via Google Alerts
Mar  9 15:16 Perhaps the most important aspect of the recent announcement was the support for Narrow Band-IoT — a 3GPP-standard for Low Power Wide Area …

Pai defends net neutrality stance, highlights successesMobile World Live via Google Alerts
Mar  9 15:01 … basis to close the digital divide, promote innovation, protect consumers and public safety, and improve the FCC’s processes and procedures..

FCC to investigate AT&T 911 call outageComputerworld Mobile/Wireless Blog
Mar  9 08:30 AT&T’s mobile subscribers in some states were unable to make 911 emergency calls late Wednesday, leading to complaints from police departments and emergency agencies in various parts of the country. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai wrote on Twitter that his agency was receiving reports of widespread AT&T 911 call outages and its public safety staff was investigating. Pai tweeted about an hour later that AT&T had reported to him that 911 service was restored. “The @FCC will inv

Blackburn bill would roll back broadband privacy regulationsTechnology
Mar  9 08:15 Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) will introduce her own bill to block the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 broadband privacy rules from going into effect.Blackburn’s spokeswoman confirmed to The Hill that the chairwoman of the House Commerce…

Dish declines LTE in favour of NB-IoT launch in 2020Mobile World Live via Google Alerts
Mar  9 07:40 US Satellite TV provider and aspiring wireless player Dish outlined plans to use its spectrum assets to roll out a narrowband Internet of Things …

Narrowband IoT: New hope for China’s telecom giantsUSA Extra News via Google Alerts
Mar  9 04:15 HK) completed preliminary testing of narrowband IoT technology together with telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies. China Unicom …

Dragonfly narrowband IoT unveiled with GNSS optionShortwave IT! via Google Alerts
Mar  8 23:11 licensor of signal processing IP forconnected devices, and Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute Company Limited ( ASTRI ) …

Smarter public safety networks are critical to the evolution of citiesBlack & Veatch via Google Alerts
Mar  8 21:35 Additionally, the national public safety broadband network currently being procured by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) could …

Senators push FCC to keep its net neutrality rulesInfoWorld
Mar  8 18:00 The U.S. Federal Communications Commission should reverse course and keep the net neutrality rules it passed just two years ago, several Democratic senators said Wednesday. The FCC has not yet moved to repeal the regulations prohibiting broadband providers from selectively blocking or slowing web traffic, but the agency’s new chairman, Republican Ajit Pai, has called the rules a “mistake.” [ Read ’em and weep: 5 ways your ISP is screwing you . | 5 more ways your ISP is screwing you . | Cut to th

Senators push FCC to keep its net neutrality rulesPC World
Mar  8 15:01 The U.S. Federal Communications Commission should reverse course and keep the net neutrality rules it passed just two years ago, several Democratic senators said Wednesday. The FCC has not yet moved to repeal the regulations prohibiting broadband providers from selectively blocking or slowing web traffic, but the agency’s new chairman, Republican Ajit Pai, has called the rules a “mistake.” Broadband customers, however, still need the protections of the net neutrality rules, several Democratic me

Pai: FCC Required to Ensure Internet Privacy Even Without Agency RulesMorning Consult via Google Alerts
Mar  8 15:00 It’s the first time the Republican chairman has said broadband companies would be subject to FCC privacy enforcement in the absence of rules …

Pai Tells Senate Commerce 3.0 Is A PriorityTV News Check via Google Alerts
Mar  8 12:30 The four focus points are: promoting innovation; closing the digital divide; protecting consumers and public safety; and reforming the FCC’s processes.

U.S. Senate resolution aims to let ISPs share your private data without permissionPC World
Mar  8 08:00 A resolution introduced in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday aims to roll back privacy rules for broadband service providers that were approved by the Federal Communications Commission in October. The rules include the requirement that internet service providers like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon should obtain “opt-in” consent from consumers to use and share sensitive personal information such as geolocation and web browsing history, and also give customers the option to opt out from the sharing of non-se

Australia’s nbn sets fiber-to-the-curb deploymentsLightwave
Mar  7 06:30 nbn, the company building Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) via a variety of broadband architectures, has announced the first areas in which it will deploy fiber-to-the-curb (FTTC) technology. The company expects to reach approximately 700,000 homes in this initial deployment wave.

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 …