DHS Deputy Assistant Secretary

Rick Driggers has been selected as deputy assistant secretary-cybersecurity and communications at the Department of Homeland Security, a department official confirmed today. Currently, he is principal deputy director-operations in DHS’ National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.


Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, August 10, 2017

Why Public Safety Devices Need a New SIM Card This week’s PSA is based on a question I hear nearly every day. It started when AT&T won the FirstNet contract and offered up its own LTE networks in addition to what it will build out on FirstNet Band 14 spectrum. AT&T is offering early opt-in state and territories (at least 11 so far) the use of its AT&T network on a priority access basis with full pre-emption on the entire AT&T LTE network by the start of 2018.

AT&T says it is easy to start using the AT&T network for public safety. Once a state has opted in, each public safety entity will decide if it wants to join the FirstNet system and become users on the AT&T broadband network. If the answer is yes and the pricing is acceptable to the agency, all that is needed, according to AT&T, is to install a new SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) into the mobile device to be instantly considered a public safety user on the AT&T network and on Band 14 as it is built over time.

The question about why you need to install a new SIM in your device is based on a number of factors. The most important of these is that the new SIM identifies the device (and the user) as a member of the public safety community. The network is then notified that when this device is on the network, in addition to normal AT&T capabilities, the user will have access to all additional capabilities and information being made available only to the FirstNet public safety community. The AT&T network and soon FirstNet Band 14 recognizes a user as a public safety user by the SIM in the device and the information it contains. Read the Entire Blog Here  Continue reading

Problems with ECFS Fixed

Problems with the FCC’s electronic comment filing system were fixed today, and ECFS appeared back to normal this afternoon. Yesterday and earlier today, searches for standard filings posted yesterday turned up more than 2,600 items, most of which had no attachments. Although ECFS said the documents were posted yesterday, most appeared old, including filings by companies no longer in business, such as Cyren Call Communications Corp. and M2Z Networks, Inc. “During an update to the ECFS system, some files from the old system that were lacking dates were temporarily appearing as new files,” an FCC spokesman told TR Daily this afternoon. “The issue has been resolved.”

Courtesy TRDaily

Inmarsat Reiterates Ligado Support

Inmarsat, Inc., has reiterated “its support for prompt Commission action on Ligado’s Modification Applications.” In an ex parte filing yesterday in IB dockets 11-109 and 12-340, Inmarsat said it was responding to a June filing (TR Daily, June 21) by aviation and aerospace industry interests that mentioned their concern “about the potential impact to Inmarsat’s systems that might be caused by Ligado’s proposed terrestrial deployment.” Inmarsat said that the parties incorrectly said that Inmarsat had expressed concern about Ligado’s planned network in response to a consultation by the United Kingdom’s Office of Communications (Ofcom).

In response to the Inmarsat filing, a Ligado spokesperson said today that the company “is pleased industry leaders such as Inmarsat support our proposal and are urging the Commission to take action. Inmarsat not only corrected the record, but together with the filing made recently by Metro Aviation, Inmarsat’s filing makes clear that assertions made by ASRI [Aviation Spectrum Resources, Inc.] in their filings are not representative of the views of the entire aviation industry. Our proposal is the product of significant collaboration and compromise with many stakeholders, and we are confident the Commission will make a decision based on fact and the public’s interest.”

Courtesy TRDaily

Florida Fire Chiefs Support FirstNet Op-In

The Florida Fire Chiefs’ Association (FFCA) is urging Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R.) to opt into the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) system. “Florida’s fire chiefs are responsible for making critical decisions to ensure the safety of citizens and first responders during every day operations and large-scale disaster events,” FFCA President Otto Drozd said in a statement today on a letter that the group sent the governor yesterday. “To do that effectively, they require a nationwide, high-speed broadband network dedicated to public safety communications.

Through FirstNet’s expanded strategic partnership with AT&T, the FFCA believes the infrastructure, technology and resources are in place to give our public safety leaders the best opportunity to make timely, informed decisions that impact their communities, our state and our nation.” In the letter, Mr. Drozd said, “The benefit of the partnership is that emergency service agencies can begin leveraging the AT&T network through priority access and preemption as soon as a decision is made to affirmatively opt-in to the FirstNet system.” In fact, AT&T, Inc., FirstNet’s network partner, has said that priority access would be available immediately but preemption would not be available until the end of this year.

Courtesy TRDaily

LPTV Proposal Envisions Use of T-Band Spectrum

A low-power TV proposal “ending the vacant channel war” would involve use of T-band channels that Congress has directed the FCC to auction by 2021 while relocating public safety and industry incumbents by 2023, according to an ex parte filing by the LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition. The coalition has said it has declared a “truce” in its fight with tech companies that support unlicensed use of TV white spaces, particularly on the issue of whether the FCC should reserve an additional white spaces channel in each market for unlicensed devices (TR Daily, Aug. 1).

The coalition’s ex parte filing yesterday in GN docket 12-268, ET docket 14-165, and MB docket 15-146 reported on an Aug. 1 meeting with 17 representatives of the FCC’s Incentive Auction Task Force, Media Bureau, and Office of Engineering and Technology.

The redacted filing stressed the need for a five- to seven-year “bridge” for a legislative solution for holding an incentive auction of T-band spectrum. The FCC has the authority to conduct additional incentive auctions through fiscal year 2022, but it can’t hold additional auctions of TV spectrum, including in the T-band, without congressional approval.

In the Aug. 1 meeting, the coalition also reiterated its call “for a post-auction economic analysis of the impacts of repacking on non-eligible-for-the-auction LPTV and TV translator license and construction permit holders,” according to the ex parte filing.

Relocating public safety T-band incumbents from the 11 metro areas where they use the spectrum would cost more than $5.9 billion, according to a 2013 report by the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (TR Daily, March 15, 2013).

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 requires the FCC to reallocate and auction public safety spectrum in the T-band by 2021 and relocate incumbents by 2023. Proceeds from the auction can be used to cover the relocation costs of public safety licensees. But the law doesn’t say anything about relocating non-public safety licensees.

The T-band is in TV channels 14-20 (470-512 megahertz).

Some public safety advocates have suggested the community lobby Congress to eliminate the mandate that the T-band be auctioned or at least to delay the deadline. —Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily