Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, September 20, 2018

FirstNet’s First Hurricane. Last week’s Public Safety Advocate discussed storms, wildfires, and other reasons it is so important for as many public safety agencies as possible to be a part of the FirstNet network and ecosystem. This week, weather hit the Carolinas hard with the arrival of hurricane Florence and FirstNet (Built by AT&T) sprang into action. So far, reports coming out of the area via reporters, tweets, and other social media indicate that FirstNet moved in and met the challenges it faced.

According to the FCC storm reports and verified elsewhere, 14 percent of the existing cell sites were out of service while more than 164,000 customers were out of cable, broadband services, and phones. Putting this another way, according to Tower Daily News and as reported by WWAY-TV, 86.4 percent of the cell towers remained in operation serving the public and the public safety community. As of last Sunday, the number of cell sites still down was reduced to 787, as compared to the 1,063 sites that were out of service a few days earlier.

In South Carolina, 98.3 percent of the 4,107 cell sites were operational going into last weekend, and by Sunday the number of sites down in the state had been reduced to 68 or 1.7 percent. On other communications services, the FCC’s latest report shows that 47 TV stations were on the air with only four being down, and 100 FM stations were broadcasting with only 20 off the air. On the AM side of things, 28 AM stations were broadcasting, leaving only three off the air. It is important to realize information about the number of cell sites and other communications facilities are generally furnished by the site owners, station owners, or others with knowledge of the current situation rather than numbers that are generated by the FCC directly.Read the Entire Post Here

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

NTIA’s Redl Says Spectrum Sharing Is The Future Of 5G

Law360 Sep 19 21:25

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Law360 (September 19, 2018, 7:29 PM EDT) — For National Telecommunications and Information Administration head David Redl, the government’s … Continue reading

Schatz, Murkowski Offer Bill to Fund AMBER Alert Grants

Sens. Brian Schatz (D., Hawaii) and Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) have introduced a bill to reauthorize federal grants to fund implementation of the AMBER Alert system and to expand eligibility to all U.S. territories. AMBER Alerts about missing children are distributed through wireless emergency alerts to cellphones, among other means.  The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children recently reported that 924 abducted children have been recovered due to Amber Alerts (TR Daily, May 30).

“AMBER Alerts have helped save hundreds of children. There’s no good reason for U.S. territories to be excluded from this system,” Sen. Schatz said.

“[W]e are long overdue in providing all of our territories with access to this essential and effective service,” Sen. Murkowski said.

Under the original grant program established in 2003, only the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico were eligible for grant funding.  The legislation proposed by Sens. Schatz and Murkowski would make all five U.S. territories — American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands — eligible for grants.

Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D., Guam) has introduced a companion bill in the House. —Lynn Stanton,

Courtesy TRDaily

2.1% of Cell Sites Not Working in Florence-Affected N.C. Areas

In the 48 areas in North Carolina covered by the FCC’s activation of its Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) for Hurricane Florence, 2.1% of cell sites were out of service as of 11 a.m. today, down from 3.7% yesterday, the FCC reported. It said that all public safety answering points in North Carolina are fully operational.

As for cable and wireline service, the report said that 176,388 subscribers did not have service in North Carolina, down from 270,688 yesterday. Two TV stations reported being out of service. Two FM radio stations reported being down but programming was being sent to another station, while 20 FM radio stations said they were out of service. Two AM radio stations said they were out of service.

Courtesy TRDaily


National EAS/WEA Test Expected to Reach Most Mobile Phones

The nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and wireless emergency alerts that was rescheduled from yesterday to Oct. 3 in light of response efforts to Hurricane Florence (TR Daily, Sept. 17) is expected to deliver the test message to “almost all” of the mobile phones in the country, a senior Federal Emergency Management Agency official told reporters during a conference call today.

The test, which will be the first nationwide test of WEA utilizing the presidential level code, which enables a message to be sent to all points in the U.S. simultaneously, is required by law every three years and is not being conducted in response to the false ballistic missile alert mistakenly sent in Hawaii in January over the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and by wireless emergency alert (WEA), the FEMA official said.  WEA was launched in 2012 and FEMA believes the system has developed to the point that a national test is appropriate, the official added. Continue reading

Wisconsin Awards $7M in Broadband Grants

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R.) and the state’s Public Service Commission have announced the award of an additional $7 million in broadband expansion grants. The 37 new grants will extend high-speed internet access to as many as 1,100 business locations and 14,000 residential locations,” according to a statement from the governor’s office.  The awards must be finalized in a PSC written decision.

“Because of the truly transformative power of broadband we are awarding more than $7 million to extend high-speed internet in Wisconsin,” Gov. Walker said in a statement. “With these grants we are continuing to build on our investments into broadband throughout the state to ensure that Wisconsin families and businesses have access to technology and information they need to excel. Broadband access is revolutionizing education, health care, and business just like electrical revolutionized farming for my grandparents.” Continue reading

Iridium Offers Options for ESIMs’ Use of 29.25–29.3 GHz Band

The FCC could permit land and marine ESIMs (earth stations in motion) in the 29.25–29.3 gigahertz band “at this time, but defer consideration of aeronautical ESIMs to a further stage of the proceeding,” representatives of Iridium Communications, Inc., told Rachel Bender, a legal adviser to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, during a Sept. 19 ex parte meeting regarding the IB docket 17-95 proceeding on facilitating the use of ESIMs in fixed satellite service frequency bands.

The FCC is scheduled to consider a report and order and further notice of proposed rulemaking in the proceeding at its Sept. 26 meeting.

“[A]eronautical ESIMs can be situated directly in-line with the Iridium feeder-link main beam, and thus produce even greater levels of interference into Iridium satellites,” the company’s representatives said during the meeting, according to an ex parte notice filed yesterday.  Continue reading

Role of Tech, Data, Privacy Raised at FTC Hearing

Because technology is “part of every industry,” it is becoming “relevant in more and more matters” before the Federal Commission, including consumer protection in the areas of “cryptocurrencies, data throttling, online marketing, tech support scams, fintech — and even robocalls,” FTC Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter said today during opening remarks at the latest hearing in the agency’s series on competition and consumer protection in the 21st century.

“On the competition side, we have also long had to keep pace with technological advancement. We are seeing more and more mergers and conduct matters with technology-related issues such as data collection, intellectual property, and network effects. And as consumers become data commodities themselves, the nature of competition has been evolving as well,” Commissioner Slaughter said.

She said that “questions about competition and consumer protection no longer happen in isolation. Addressing a legal question on one side often has profound implications for the other.”

For example, in “a hypothetical merger between two companies that each control substantial consumer data; what are the privacy and security implications of that rollup? Consider also the consequences for consumers when limited competition means there is no meaningful choice about whether to patronize a company that may not prioritize user privacy,” she said. Continue reading