Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, July 5, 2018

FirstNet and H.R. 3994. FirstNet (Built by AT&T) is required to provide public safety broadband in rural America. Recently, AT&T accepted the challenge and committed to invest an additional $2 billion in rural build-out. Meanwhile, as I have mentioned before, there are many grants and low-cost loans available to states and counties to implement rural broadband. These include several administered by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), many by the United States Departments of Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, and most recently the Department of Homeland Security. However, as I have also said before, these agencies do not work with each other and they have different criteria. All told, there are more than 25 separate programs administered by five different agencies so progress is really slow. Some agencies are only interested in fiber broadband but some are willing to fund a combination of fiber backhaul and wireless distribution. For many years now, I have been calling for a common organization to take charge of implementing funding for rural broadband. Perhaps H.R. 3994 will be the bill that will create such an agency.

H.R. 3994 Access Broadband Act. This bill “to establish the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth, and for other purposes” was first introduced in the House of Representatives in October of 2017, sponsored by Representative Paul Tonko, a democrat from New York. With additional sponsors, on June 13, 2018, the bill was forwarded by the subcommittee to the full Committee on Energy and Commerce for consideration prior to being presented to the full House. Congress is busy working on a number of issues that many of the Representatives and Senators will say are more important, but to be effective, this bill needs to be moved quickly through the House to the Senate and put into law.

We do have to be careful with this as I am sure some within the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will take exception to the creation of a new Internet Connectivity office since they will feel this is their purview. However, if you look at what has happened over the course of the last few years, you will see that there has not been any coordination within and between the federal agencies. As long as each agency with a broadband initiative feels this is its area of expertise, even though it has not looked at the issue as demanding a coordinated action, we will continue to lag behind in both rural and poverty-level Internet connectivity.

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

ExecutiveGov Jul  3 09:45

The Commerce Department’s inspector general has commenced a year-long audit to assess how the First Responder Network Authority oversees the …

StateScoop Jul  2 21:20

Inspector general audits FirstNet’s public safety network core …

Urgent Communications Jul  2 03:10

Public-safety LTE cell sites built by the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) were transferred last Friday to AT&T, …

GovConWire Jun 30 01:45

TYSONS CORNER, VA, June 29, 2018 AT&T (NYSE: T) has unveiled a program designed to help selected public safety system dealers and …

RadioResource Media Group Jun 29 17:20

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International is seeking comments on candidate American National Standard …

Business Wire Jun 28 16:12

NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America, Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America (“Panasonic”), today announced that it is joining the FirstNet Dealer Program, through the AT&T* Alliance Channel℠. As a FirstNet dealer, Panasonic can now sell FirstNet services to current and future public safety customers. AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) are giving this exclusive ability to a select group of dealers

Business Wire Jun 28 16:12

VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sierra Wireless AirLink MG90 Multi-Network In-Vehicle Router with EM7511 Embedded Module certified for operation on the FirstNet network.

Federal Register Jun 28 15:45

In this document, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) amends the Commission’s rules to promote spectrum efficiency, …

Radio World Jun 28 15:25

Within the last two months, the commission has issued several waivers of its WEA and EAS rules to both mobile providers and public safety officials …

ExecutiveBiz Jun 28 14:10

AT&T has launched a program that allows selected dealers of public safety systems to promote and sell the FirstNet communications platform to their …

Software Testing News Jul  4 18:45

We demonstrated the capability of using a standard smartphone and a small narrowband satellite terminal to send a text message, image, voice …

4 Traders Jul  4 15:20

The US National Telecommunications and Information Administration has issued a surprise statement advising the Federal Communications …

The Register Jul  4 15:20

Meanwhile, China Mobile has been blocked by the United States’ National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) from obtaining …

Youth Promoter Jul  4 12:50

3GPP Release 13 of LTE started to add support for Narrowband IoT applications. 6mm 19. At the Ericsson booth at Mobile World Congress …

TA News RSS Jul  4 00:15

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said that, following consultation with the Trump administration, it will reject an application by China Mobile requesting to offer telecom services in the United States. “After significant engagement with China Mobile, concerns about increased risks to U.S. law enforcement and national security interests were unable to be resolved,” said David J. Redl, assistant secretary for communications and information at the U.S. Departme

Digitimes Jul  3 18:00

Taiwan-based Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) has kicked off its commercial NB-IoT (narrow band-IoT) service, utilizing its GSMA-verified mobile IoT open …

Telecompetitor Jul  3 18:00

The FCC proposal will impact Huawei, and perhaps others, by not allowing funds from the USF to be used to purchase or maintain equipment from …

Enterprise IoT Insights Jul  2 12:35

AT&T will go after the broad industrial ‘internet-of-things’ (IIoT) market with an expanded connectivity portfolio as it unfolds its new narrowband-IoT …

Nokia Jun 30 22:25

With mobile broadband delivered everywhere by commercial mobile network operators (MNOs), consumers have for some time been getting into …

Nasdaq Jun 29 18:55

Sierra Wireless, Inc.SWIR recently unveiled the new AirLink MG90 high-performance LTE-Advanced Pro multi-network vehicle router, designed …

RadioResource Media Group Jun 29 17:25

Motorola Solutions and Panasonic are two of the companies participating in the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) dealer program …

City of Fort Worth Jun 28 18:40

It is up its residents to help keep Fort Worth a safe community. Report suspicious behavior to the Fort Worth Police Homeland Security Unit hotline.

4 Traders Jun 28 15:45

Narrowband IoT is a new communication technology that enables excellent coverage indoors, outdoors and in the ground. It is ideal for things that run …

Android Headlines Jun 28 15:10

That will allow it to offer FirstNet services to public safety customers already using its first responder-geared equipment, as well as bringing in new …

ARC Viewpoints Jun 28 14:45

L&T Technology Services Limited has collaborated with California-based Cadence Design Systems, Inc. to launch its new NB-IoT (Narrow Band …