DSRC Supporters, Wi-Fi Advocates Disagree on 5.9 GHz Band Path

Supporters of dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) technology say the FCC must continue planned testing of 5.9 gigahertz band coexistence with Wi-Fi devices, while some Wi-Fi advocates say the results of the first round of tests validate their call for the Commission to move ahead with a rulemaking to open spectrum to unlicensed devices.

Comments were filed by yesterday’s deadline in ET docket 13-49 on a report released by the FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology last month that concluded that prototype unlicensed devices were able to detect 5.9 GHz band DSRC signals in testing in the FCC’s lab (TR Daily, Oct. 29).

The report concluded “that the two proposed interference mitigation methods, Detect-and-Vacate and Re-channelization proposals, offer a means for U-NII-4 devices to coexist with DSRC devices.”

In their comments, entities emphasize different parts of the report most favorable to their positions.

The testing was conducted in Phase I of what has been scheduled to be three phases of testing, with the last two in the field. The FCC had planned to complete all three phases by January 2017, but the second two phases have yet to begin. OET asked for comment on the test results as well as whether developments in the industry since the three-phase test plan was announced in 2016 should impact the way the agency evaluates the test results.

DSRC supporters urged the FCC to continue the testing in the second and third planned phases and emphasized DSRC deployments that have occurred since the testing was announced. They also cited that the U.S. Department of Transportation and its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have stressed the importance of conducting all three phases of testing and noted the more than 70 active vehicle-to-everything (V2X) deployments.

“This three-phase collaborative test program involving the FCC, U.S. DOT and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to explore sharing in the 5.9 GHz spectrum band with unlicensed devices is interdependent, and all three phases are necessary to determine the viability of allowing unlicensed devices to share the spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band with the incumbent designated uses supporting automotive safety,” the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said in its comments with the FCC. “Each phase of testing relies on the other phases to provide requisite data needed for meaningful comparison and evaluation, and to determine how best to proceed with interference-avoidance and allocation of spectrum use rights in the 5.9 GHz band. Also, the introduction of new technologies since the 2016 FCC announcement of the three-phase test plan does not lessen the necessity to complete each phase. Therefore, it is essential that the FCC continue its three-phase testing plan. All three phases are necessary to show whether unlicensed devices can safely operate in the 5.9 GHz spectrum band without harmful interference to incumbent technologies that support automotive safety.” Continue reading

Mission Critical Reports: Top Public-Safety Issues: Spectrum, 9-1-1 Location, FirstNet/LMR Integration

Marilyn Ward, executive director of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), shares her views on public-safety issues in this exclusive interview.

MC: What will be the biggest issue facing public safety during 2019?

Ms. Ward: I think there are three key areas: spectrum (T-band, 4.9 GHz and 6 GHz); 9-1-1 location accuracy; and operational integration of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and land mobile communications.

Read entire interview here: https://www.rrmediagroup.com/Features/FeaturesDetails/FID/880

Media Advisory: S&T Demonstrates Tech During a Hazmat Scenario

Houston, TX – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) will host a demonstration of integrating emergency response technologies during a simulated HAZMAT scenario at the Port of Houston on December 5, 2018. The Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) – Harris County Operational Experimentation (OpEx) will involve coordinated response by Houston public safety agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard, and others.

Over the last year, DHS S&T partnered with 13 Houston-area public safety agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the DHS Office of Emergency Communications to identify technical capabilities that could assist first responders at the scene of an emergency. Situational awareness, responder physiological and patient monitoring, personnel location tracking, and enhanced communications were identified as priority concerns. The OpEx will evaluate how DHS-developed, commercial, and existing first responder technologies integrate during an emergency to fill these gaps while using open standards.

WHO:         Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Next Generation First Responder Program (NGFR)

WHAT:       Media availability and demonstration of the NGFR – Harris County OpEx

WHEN:      1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. CST, Wednesday, December 5, 2018

WHERE:    1:00 p.m. – Remarks
Port Coordination Center (follow signs for Police Station)
Port of Houston
111 East Loop North
Houston, TX 77029

1:45 p.m. – Technology Demonstration
Sam Houston Tour Boat Pavilion
Port of Houston
7300 Clinton Drive
Houston, TX 77020

To attend the press availability and demonstration, credentialed media must RSVP to NGFR@hq.dhs.gov by Friday, November 30, 2018, to register and receive a media packet and additional information about photographs and recording at the Port of Houston. Media must also check in at either the Port Coordination Center or the Sam Houston Tour Boat Pavilion prior to the demonstration. Media attendees must be U.S. citizens.  

AP News Reports: Officials seize ‘cloned’ emergency responder radios

By MARK GILLISPIE, October 24, 2018

CLEVELAND (AP) — Officials have seized radios cloned from a stolen police radio that could have disrupted emergency communications and endangered lives, a sheriff said Wednesday.

The Stark County Sheriff’s Office and Canton police are investigating eight to 10 people involved in the sale of the radios after seven searches carried out Monday in the Canton area, Sheriff George Maier said. The cloned radios are no longer operable, he said.

No one was arrested during the searches, which also uncovered potential weapons violations being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Maier compared the cloning of the radio, which appears to have been stolen from Canton police, with a computer crime. Someone with “above-average intelligence” downloaded the stolen radio’s software to a computer and then uploaded it to commercially available radios, allowing users to monitor the communications of the sheriff’s office and police and fire departments that are part of a countywide system, Maier said.

Read complete article here: https://apnews.com/c307b85a9a384b0daceec4cf33c53a90


DHS S&T: Recognizing a Year in Critical Infrastructure Innovation

This November, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) recognizes the importance of increasing the resilience of our most core societal functions in an ever-changing technological landscape.October was Cybersecurity Awareness month, and it leads us into this month’s critical infrastructure focus with good reason: cyber innovation is forever transforming how the 16 essential sectors of critical infrastructure are managed.

Commercial facilities, transportation, healthcare, financial services, nuclear reactors and government facilities, to mention a few, are all things the average citizen relies on to function each day. They are all susceptible to cyber attacks, and they still need the resilience to withstand other natural and manmade catastrophes.

Here are a few noteworthy S&T efforts that have directly impacted our nation’s critical infrastructure this year.

SAFETY Act – The S&T Office of SAFETY Act Implementation, responsible for approving anti-terrorism technologies for insurance coverage under the Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act, approved its 1000th technology this year. Thanks to the SAFETY Act, various sports facilities, malls and other commercial buildings can maintain state-of-the-art security systems, and citizens can enjoy walking about those facilities feeling protected.

Flood Sensors – Our Flood Apex program has continued to collaborate with communities around the country to ensure they can be prepared in the event of a storm surge. We have partnered with industry and local emergency managers to install flood sensors that alert first responder agencies of rising water levels and collect data, powering efforts to reduce future flood damage. Data from our sensors in Mecklenberg County, North Carolina, has served as the backbone for the Flood Information and Notification System, and this effort continues to expand to other regions. With such devastating hurricanes making their mark between 2017 and 2018, many communities will rely on better data to get them through these seasons.

Decision Support System for Water Infrastructure Security (DSS-WISE) – Also in the realm of flood-proofing, S&T has created a modeling and simulation tool for dam failure situations. DSS-WISE provides communities with a course of action in these events, simulating potential inundation zones, informing evacuation processes and repair strategies. This added preparation saves communities thousands of dollars in dam safety studies, and millions in damages. It also saves lives. Efforts to improve DSS-WISE have been underway through S&T’s partnership with the University of Mississippi’s National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering (NCCHE).

Cyber Risk Economics (CYRIE) – Through the CYRIE project, S&T coordinates high-level research and development efforts in cybersecurity. These involve modeling and evaluating different economic aspects of cyber threats to improve the cybersecurity posture of Homeland Security Enterprise partners. This year, S&T invested in a forecasting platform to update critical infrastructure owners on the latest cybersecurity tools available to them. CYRIE continues to help S&T and our collaborators deliver optimal cyber risk management incentives for public and private sector organizations. Recently, we released our Cyber Risk Economics Capability Gaps Research Strategy, which we hope will help close the gap between research and practice by apprising the research community of real-world cyber risk economics challenges, and, ultimately, inform evidence-based policy and actions by industry and government.

What we all need

Whether you live in the city or the country, near the beach or at the foot of a mountain, the nation’s critical infrastructure is the backbone of your community. A weakness in one sector could easily be a weakness in another. As cyber innovation continues to bridge these different sectors together into a holistic network, homeland security depends, more than ever, on our shared consideration of each one and how it factors into the big picture.


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Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, November 11, 2018

Critical LTE Communications Forum and More.  This week’s Advocate is late since I attended and took part in the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) Critical LTE Communications Forum. There were about 200 folks in attendance, all with a keen interest in broadband communications for public safety. The sessions were great for the most part but there were occasional topics where some speakers presented information or ideas that were simply wrong or conveyed advances as coming much faster than they actually will.

For some reason, neither FirstNet (Built by AT&T) nor the FirstNet Authority had any sponsorship or participation. However, there were FirstNet folks in the audience. This lack of FirstNet visibility allowed the first keynote by Verizon to contain comments that could have and should have been countered by FirstNet. These issues included sharing networks, how soon Verizon’s Mission-Critical Push-To-Talk (PTT) would come to its network, and then a plea for states to include a statement in their policy that would make it mandatory for full network interoperability.

Verizon’s take on Mission-Critical Push-To-Talk was that it would roll it out in 2019. Then, in the same sentence, stated this would soon be followed by off-network LTE or Proximity Services (ProSe). Neither of these statements is based on actual fact and later in the day during the PTT panel (see below), I finally heard that the first iteration of Mission-Critical PTT was nothing more than a first-generation product and it would be years before all the kinks had been worked out.
Read the Entire Post Here .

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

Fiber forward: FCC awards waiver for county broadband project Continue reading

Public Television and S&T Use Datacasting to Foil Simulated School Shooting

On October 24, 2018, a simulated school shooting incident was conducted at the Adams Central Community Schools in Grant County, Indiana. The exercise was sponsored by DHS S&T, in collaboration with the Indiana Integrated Public Safety Commission, Adams County Sheriff, Adams County Emergency Management Agency, Adams County School District, and public television station PBS39, which serves Adams County and is headquartered in Fort Wayne. Datacasting over PBS39 was used to share critical information from the simulated incident with first responders and public safety officials from multiple agencies.

The information included live video from multiple cameras, school blueprints and other information essential for responding to an actual school shooting threat. School administrators and teachers participated in the demonstration, but students were not on campus. https://apts.org/news/press-releases/public-television-datacasting-foils-simulated-school-shooting-in-adams-county-indiana

IACP Backs T-Band Legislation

The International Association of Chiefs of Police has written leaders of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation and House Energy and Commerce committees expressing support for the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act (HR 5085 and S 3347).

“As you know, the spectrum in the T-Band (470-512 MHz) is used by law enforcement and other public safety entities in and around eleven metropolitan areas of the United States to support critical public safety communications and provide regional interoperability among first responders. These areas are Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.,” said the letter from IACP President Paul Cell.

“Unfortunately, Section 6103 of Public Law 112-96 (The Spectrum Act) directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to begin auctioning the public safety T-Band spectrum for commercial use by February 22, 2021 and clear all public safety operations from the band within 2 years of auctions close (i.e., by early 2023). Significantly, while the Spectrum Act does allow the auction revenue to be used to cover costs associated with relocation, the act does not specify any replacement spectrum or ensure auction revenues will be sufficient to fund the relocation.” The letter added “that the IACP strongly supports H.R. 5085/S. 3347 which would repeal of section 6103 of P.L. 112-96 to allow public safety to continue using the T-Band spectrum (470-512 MHz) to accomplish its mission of providing emergency services to over ninety (90) million citizens.”

Courtesy TRDaily


Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, November 1, 2018

LMR, FirstNet, WiFi, Just to be Clear, and More. Last week’s Advocate discussed the integration, over time, of NG9-1-1, FirstNet, Land Mobile Radio (LMR), and WiFi into a homogenous communications system for public safety. Before last week, I had written multiple Advocates about LMR and FirstNet working hand-in-hand and in recent months I have been promoting a way to integrate FirstNet, LMR, and WiFi into a solid, interactive communications platform for all of the public safety community.

It was, therefore, a shock to me to read a response to last week’s Advocate from a gentleman I have conversed with and met on several occasions. The response to my columns is moderated on AllThingsFirstNet.com but I have never chosen to not accept any comment, good or bad, as that goes with the territory.

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, after I approved the comment for inclusion at the bottom of the Advocate and typed in my response, the site went down. The web folks were able to save a copy of the comment and my response, which is directly below:

“Welcome back Andy, I have been a little disappointed in the past few articles since they have been focused on FirstNet and the possibilities making it seem like you were advocating to replace LMR today. I agree that the current radio will evolve to include data/text/video, but as you stated in todays article, it will be a while until all the pieces fit together.”

My response: “First of all thank you for the comment but I am horrified that anyone reading my Advocate would believe that I am about replacing LMR with FirstNet, I think you will find that I have always stated that LMR is a vital and important part of overall public safety communications. I have been very vocal in my call for LMR to LTE PTT solutions and I have, I thought been very clear about the fact that LMR is a vital portion of the public safety communications picture and will be for many, many Years. Best regards, Andy”

The comments he made indicated that even though he was a long-time reader he apparently thought that in a number of my articles I was making a case for FirstNet as the only network for public safety. This is what surprised me. I have, for many, many years, said that FirstNet and LMR (and WiFi) will work in concert with each other and that LMR has a long life left within the public safety community. In the most recent hurricanes, both LMR and FirstNet were up and running and where one was not, the other was. So, to be very clear, my vision of public safety going forward is robust and up-to-date NG9-1-1 systems, LMR, FirstNet, and WiFi where available. I believe this will provide the best of all worlds.
Read the Entire Post Here . Continue reading

ACTING CEO EDWARD PARKINSON: Welcoming new members to the FirstNet Board

Dear colleagues,

I’m excited to share that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has made the 2018 appointments to our Board, filling five new seats and reappointing one Board member. We welcome the following members to our Board:

  • Richard Carrizzo, Chief of the Southern Platte Fire Protection District, Kansas City, MO, who also serves as lead fire representative on the policy Board that manages the region’s 911 system.
  • Welton Chase, Jr., Brig. Gen. (Ret.), U.S. Army, Army Information Technology (Signal), led the Army’s largest theater information technology organization supporting over 430,000 Army users across 81 data centers in 38 states.
  • Brian Crawford, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Shreveport, LA, responsible for the city’s fire, police and public works departments, who brings public safety experience as the former Fire Chief of Plano, TX, and Shreveport, LA; was a flight paramedic; and served as Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Louisiana State Police.
  • Billy Hewes, Mayor, Gulfport, MS, who’s played a key role in recovery operations from natural and manmade disasters.
  • Paul R. Patrick, Division Director, Family Health and Preparedness, Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City, and past president of the National Association of State EMS Officials.

As you can see from their experience, our Board has the skills to support us through the next phases of FirstNet, with deep experience in public safety operations; cyber; telecommunications; and federal, state and local government. Because our Board members come from across the nation, they understand the needs of our stakeholders — whether in remote/rural or more urban areas.

I also want to take a moment to recognize the Board members who have completed their service to FirstNet, including Kevin McGinnis, a member of the Board from its inception and a strong voice for the EMS community, and Annise Parker, who served on the Board’s Committee for Public Safety Advocacy and helped us engage with our local government stakeholders. We’re incredibly grateful for all they’ve done for our organization and public safety as part of FirstNet.

With our Board now in place, let’s move full speed ahead to deliver on the promise of FirstNet. Together, we’re creating a broadband communications experience that transforms public safety operations – and saves lives.