From FCC’s Daily Digest, May 23


CGB. Contact: Barbara Britt at or (202) 418-0323 or Greg Cooke at or (202) 418-2351. DA-18-537A1.docx DA-18-537A1.pdf DA-18-537A1.txt


Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, May 24, 2018

FirstNet Everywhere, Partnerships (Again)

I just returned from the largest amateur (ham) radio convention in the United States, held each year near Dayton, Ohio or, to be precise, at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Xenia, Ohio. I mention this event for a number of reasons, the first of which is that many of those attending have day jobs working for public safety as sworn personnel or in the IT or communications departments. Many who designed and built the Land Mobile Radio (LMR) systems used by public safety today were hams who first experienced communications as a new ham radio operator.

A number of federal government employees and contractors also attend. I was amused that AT&T had a booth in one the buildings and I went to visit it only to find this was the DirectTV group and not the wireless group. The interest in FirstNet was high this year and I had many discussions with those I met about the progress FirstNet and AT&T are making. I especially enjoyed talking with a group of fire and other public safety personnel in a flea market booth. They read my articles and were very interested in my perspective on FirstNet. I also enjoyed talking about the Harris XL-200 4-band handheld I was carrying and my Sonim XP8 phone.

I was happy to see so many pubic safety people there who knew about FirstNet. In previous years they would look confused until FirstNet was explained to them but this year I did not have to do much explaining. When talking with some federal employees and contractors, I learned one of the contractors retired from his federal job and is now a consultant to the same agency. Our discussion was disturbing to say the least. It turns out that the federal government wants to redo its communications contracts and stop using wired connections. This may be the wave of the future, but it appears as though none of those suggesting the changes to the contracts or changes in vendors truly understand that eliminating the need for copper wires is not simply about replacing them with fiber and Voice over IP (VoIP).

Read the Entire Post Here

Here are the articles I have selected with the help of Discovery Patterns artificial intelligence:

Continue reading Reports: Underwater drone to help with Summit County rescue missions

The Summit Country Sheriff’s Office is the first in Colorado to use an underwater drone to help in their investigations. At the Dillon Reservoir, deputies with the Summit County Sheriff Department are training with something new for their underwater missions.

“This is really a unique thing,” Sergeant Mark Watson said. It’s a Remote Operated Vehicle, or ROV Underwater System. Read article here.


Official: Some Agencies in North Carolina ‘Scared’ of FirstNet

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -— Some public safety agencies in North Carolina, particularly small agencies in rural areas, are “scared”  of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and are unlikely to subscribe anytime soon to the service that AT&T, Inc., FirstNet’s network partner, is offering, a state official said here today.

The comments came at the North Carolina Public Safety Broadband Summit, which was held in conjunction with the 2018 Connectivity Expo, which was organized by the Wireless Infrastructure Association. “In certain parts of North Carolina, I don’t think they’re ready, so they’re scared,” Gregory Hauser, North Carolina’s statewide interoperability coordinator, said during a session this afternoon. He said that feeling is particularly prevalent in rural areas.

“For now in North Carolina … this is going to be a metro advancement,” Mr. Hauser said of FirstNet subscribership, citing major cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro.

Asked what the concerns were for public safety agencies in rural areas, he said “coverage” and cost were the two largest. “We’re going to need some help,” Mr. Hauser said of the cost issue, adding that grant or other funding would be necessary for some agencies.

“We’re going to get there. I think we all realize that,” he added. “How we get there is going to be pretty painful.” Continue reading

AT&T Reps Highlight Benefits of FirstNet Offering

CHARLOTTE, N.C. –— AT&T, Inc., representatives, including former Boston police commissioner Ed Davis, argued today that AT&T’s public safety broadband offering for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is far superior than any other option available to public safety agencies, and Mr. Davis suggested that police agencies will choose FirstNet because they “follow the law.”

Mr. Davis, an AT&T consultant, and Chad Tucker, a FirstNet consultant manager for AT&T, discussed AT&T’s offering during a keynote session this morning at the 2018 Connectivity Expo, which was organized by the Wireless Infrastructure Association. AT&T’s FirstNet brand is featured prominently at the show here this week. It is a sponsor of the overall show, and the collocated North Carolina Public Safety Broadband Summit.

Mr. Davis stressed the benefits that the FirstNet system would have provided it if had been available after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, including offering priority and preemption for first responders when cellular networks were overloaded as well as broadband access and interoperability. He also said that the network will allow public safety agencies to take advantage of the innovation of a Fortune 500 company.  “There has never been a research and development arm of policing in the United States,” he added.

Mr. Tucker suggested that AT&T’s preemption is being done in a way that no one else is doing, even though Verizon Communications, Inc., also offers priority service and preemption for its public safety broadband offering that is competing with that of AT&T’s for FirstNet. Mr. Tucker also stressed that AT&T has a “dedicated core,” for public safety, “not a virtual core,” and “end-to-end encryption.” Continue reading

CBRS Progress Outlined on Standards, Certification, Brand

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) advocates today outlined progress that has been made on developing standards, a certification program, and a commercial brand to deploy devices in the 3.5 gigahertz band, even though spectrum access systems (SASs) and environmental sensing capability (ESC) databases have not yet been approved by the FCC and the Commission is considering modifying its rules for priority access licenses (PALs).

The Wireless Innovation Forum and the CBRS Alliance held a workshop here this afternoon in conjunction with the 2018 Connectivity Expo, which was organized by the Wireless Infrastructure Association.

The technology-neutral WInnForum has developed 10 standards to facilitate the baseline deployment of commercial operations in the CBRS spectrum (TR Daily, Jan. 31), while the alliance, which is focused on CBRS use cases and business opportunities, has established a certification program for LTE equipment using the band and the OnGo brand (TR Daily, May 8). Representatives at today’s workshop said the groups complement each other. Continue reading

Pai, Minow Call for Moving Ahead on Telemedicine

In an op-ed article in the “Boston Globe” today, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and former Chairman Newton Minow highlighted the benefits of telemedicine for rural areas and the obstacle that the digital divide poses to achieving those benefits.  “It’s time we integrated communications technology into our health care system just as fully as we have in other parts of our lives,” they wrote.

They added, “Both of us have different perspectives and may disagree on many issues and policies at the FCC. But on the importance of developing telemedicine, we share the same determination to move forward. Recent advances in communications technology could enable millions of Americans to live healthier, longer lives. Achieving that result requires forward-thinking policies on telemedicine. We’re firmly committed to helping America adopt those policies and bringing our health care system more fully into the digital age.”

Courtesy TRDaily