Public Safety Groups Sign MoU

The Public Safety Technology Alliance (PSTA) and the Critical Communications Association (TCCA) today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding. “The goal of the MOU is to foster collaboration between PSTA and TCCA with respect to international, widespread promotion of the use of open standards and open standard APIs to ensure operability among applications, services, handsets, connected devices, and cloud applications and storage for the mission critical communications relied upon by public safety,” the groups said in a news release.

“Areas of planned collaboration include information sharing and best practices on test and certification bodies; coordination on technical committee work including technology roadmaps, activities and timelines; support of plugtests and other testing events for mission critical services; and communication and education about the important work being accomplished by both organizations around the world. The benefits of this open collaboration will mean greater cooperation globally on the future of public safety technology, which will facilitate a more open, competitive, and operable marketplace to drive scalable innovation for first responders worldwide.”

Courtesy TRDaily

 

Local Governments Urge FCC to Stay Order on Deployment Barriers

The National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Association of Counties, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, and the National Association of Regional Councils, the National Association of Towns and Townships, and more than 60 state and regional level municipal associations and individual cities, towns, and counties have asked the FCC to stay the third report and order the FCC adopted in August in its proceeding on removing barriers to broadband infrastructure investment, which, they noted, is due to take effect Jan. 14, 2019.

The local government interests object to the order’s restrictions on what they can charge for use of their right-of-way, its adoption of a federal standard regarding the aesthetics of wireless infrastructure, and its redefinition of what constitutes an “effective prohibition” of deployment, which the Communications Act authorizes the FCC to preempt.

With regard to the interpretation of the phrase “effective prohibition” as used in sections 253 and 332 of the Communications Act, the order adopted in August in WT docket 17-79 and WC docket 17-84 “explicitly rejects the ‘significant gap’ and ‘least intrusive alternative’ tests that had been adopted and applied (with small variations) by almost every U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and incorporated into local ordinances over the last 20 years. The Order, in contravention of a key holding in [the Supreme Court’s 2005 decision in] ‘National Cable & Telecommunications Ass’n v. Brand X Internet Services,’ also rejects the ‘plain language’ interpretations of those sections adopted by the Eighth and Ninth Circuits, both of which found that an effective prohibition requires the litigant to prove that a challenged action actually prohibits provision of a protected service. The Commission instead adopted a standard that presumes a prohibition where costs of deployment are increased (on the theory that providers might offer additional services if they were richer); and that concludes that service is ‘prohibited’ if an entity is prevented from ‘improving’ service,” the local government parties said. Continue reading

Ross Announces Five New FirstNet Board Members, Reappointment

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross today announced the appointment of five new members of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board and the reappointment of board member Neil Cox, the chairman of the board’s Technology Committee.

The appointments bring the board to a full complement of 15 members for the first time since the end of 2016, when Barry Boniface resigned.

“I am proud to announce the selection of these highly qualified new Board members, whose experience in public service and the private sector will ensure FirstNet continues to provide the world-class communications network our emergency responders need,” said Secretary Ross, who last month reappointed Edward Horowitz to the board and designated him as chairman (TR Daily, Sept. 5). “I thank our new members for their willingness to join the Board and guide FirstNet in its mission to save lives and keep our communities safe.”

The five new board members, each of whom was appointed to a three-year term, are: Richard Carrizzo, chief of the Southern Platte Fire Protection District in Kansas City, Mo., and lead fire representative on the policy board that manages the region’s 911 system; Welton Chase Jr., a retired Army brigadier general who led the Army’s largest theater information technology organization, which supported more than 430,000 Army users across 81 data centers in 38 states; Brian Crawford, chief administrative officer of Shreveport, La.; Billy Hewes, mayor of Gulfport, Miss.; and Paul Patrick, division director-Family Health and Preparedness for the Utah Department of Health, past president of the National Association of State EMS Officials, and interim director of the FirstNet board’s Public Safety Advisory Committee. Continue reading

EENA Webinar on Australia and New Zealand Emergency Services

EENA is happy to invite you to the upcoming EENA webinar “Australia & New Zealand emergency services organization.” Any public professional wants to understand as well as they can how emergency services work around the world. But it’s not always easy. That’s where EENA comes in… Join us to hear everything you need to know about how emergency services function in the two countries, what opportunities and obstacles they face, what has changed in the last years, and more…

PRACTICALITIES

Date: 13 November 2018
Time: 09:30 CET (Brussels time)
Interested in joining? Reach out to Cristina Lumbreras at cl@eena.org.

DHS S&T Announces Second Biometric Technology Rally

Washington –The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is calling for submissions to a Biometric Technology Rally scheduled for Spring 2019. Built on the success of the first Biometric Technology Rally held in March 2018, the series is designed to challenge industry to develop high-throughput biometric systems that meet the requirements of fast and accurate user recognition within identity verification operations, such as security checkpoints.

The 2019 Biometric Technology Rally will be held at S&T’s Maryland Test Facility (MdTF) in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. It will employ controlled testing of candidate technologies in relevant scenarios that support DHS operations.

The 2019 rally is open to providers of biometric (face, iris or fingerprint) data collection systems, as well as biometric matching algorithms that can achieve defined performance targets for high-throughput use cases.

“The 2018 rally established very aggressive objective and threshold metrics for speed, performance and user satisfaction,” said Arun Vemury, Director of DHS S&T’s Biometrics and Identity Technology Center. “While some rally participants met a few criteria, no single commercial offering was able to meet all objectives. Additionally, we are expanding the test to include cutting-edge fingerprint systems as well as opening participation to algorithm vendors. We believe this will further accelerate improvements in biometric system performance that benefits DHS and our mission partners.”

In addition to data collection, S&T plans to hold a Stakeholder Demonstration Day to give representatives from government and private sector organizations an opportunity to learn about the industry participants and their systems while visiting the MdTF. The 2018 event included representatives from more than 20 government agencies, including DHS, the Department of Defense, Department of State, National Institute of Standards and Technology, General Services Administration, international government partners and aviation stakeholders.

DHS will use the results of the 2019 rally to inform planning activities, share with industry participants to improve product capabilities and share with researchers to enable the development of next-generation capabilities.

To be considered for participation, interested organizations must submit a white paper and video demonstrating system functionality no later than November 30, 2018. More information about the 2019 Biometric Technology Rally, submission criteria and the results of the 2018 Biometric Technology Rally are available on the MdTF website.

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ITS America Stresses Need for Additional 5.9 GHz Band Testing

ITS America is stressing the need for additional 5.9 gigahertz band testing in the wake of an FCC report released yesterday that concluded that prototype unlicensed devices were able to detect dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) signals in testing in the FCC’s lab (TR Daily, Oct. 29).

The testing was done in the first of three planned phases. The second two phases, which have not begun yet, are scheduled to be done in the field.

ITS America President and Chief Executive Officer Shailen Bhatt said, “New and developing vehicle to everything (V2X) technology that depends on the 5.9 GHz spectrum band is allowing us to finally address the scourge of lives lost and ruined on our nation’s roads. Three years ago, Congress asked the FCC to conduct an open and transparent testing process to determine how to share the spectrum. The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) is pleased the FCC has released initial results, but it must complete all testing – including phases in which connected vehicles perform in real-world environments – before taking action that could potentially jeopardize safety.”

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said it is still reviewing the report. “We appreciate that the FCC has released the report which is long awaited and we’re committed to working with NHTSA, the FCC, and other stakeholders in preserving the DSRC Spectrum for ITS applications (safety of life) as well as developing means to maximize the public good to be derived from this Spectrum,” said Wade Newton, a spokesman for the group.

Meanwhile, the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association said in an ex parte filing in ET docket 13-49 that it supports NCTA’s recent call (TR Daily, Oct. 16) for the FCC to adopt a further notice of proposed rulemaking in the 5.9 GHz band proceeding or to otherwise seek to refresh the record. “To realize these benefits, it is important for the Commission to re-start the process by adopting a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking or a Public Notice seeking comments to refresh the record,” WISPA said. “In so doing, the Commission should not propose technical rules that would foreclose consideration of higher-EIRP operations similar to those used in the adjacent 5 GHz band and that will enable use of the 5.9 GHz band for rural broadband deployment. The long record of effective sharing among unlicensed devices in the 5 GHz and other unlicensed bands illustrates the ability of unlicensed devices of all types to co-exist.”- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily

 

 

USCM President: Focus on Partnerships, Community Benefits

U.S. Conference of Mayors President and Columbia, S.C., Mayor Steven Benjamin today said that when thinking about smart cities, it’s important not to fall into “the trap of just focusing on technology and infrastructure” and to remain focused on the goals of making city services more effective and efficient, of creating jobs and economic development, and of improving a community’s quality of life.

“We know cities and the FCC have disagreed pretty vehemently on several issues in recent years,” Mayor Benjamin said during remarks at an event titled “Partnering with Communities to Build Smart Cities Tomorrow,” which was hosted by Charter Communications, Inc., immediately following an appearance by FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly (see separate story), arguably the FCC’s most outspoken critics of municipal actions in the broadband area. Continue reading