Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, April 25, 2019

Waiting on Mission Critical Push-To-Talk (Data, Video). According to Motorola, its Kodiak Networks has developed the first Push-To-Talk (PTT) application for on-network use. On-network means the network hosts the application as opposed to an over-the-top application such as ESChat or Orion Labs, the other FirstNet-approved options. Motorola’s claim is that the Kodiak PTT solution as deployed in both the AT&T and Verizon networks (though not compatible across the two, I am told) is close to meeting the Mission Critical Push-To-Talk specification released by the 3GPP standards organization.

All that is needed, claims Motorola, is for companies to start producing Proximity Services (ProSe) chipsets, which Motorola claims remains the greatest hurdle to being fully MCPTT-compliant. I am using Motorola as an example here since it recently stated its PTT solution for FirstNet (Built with AT&T) works and is embedded in the FirstNet network. ESChat and Orion Labs are also certified on FirstNet. I find Motorola’s comments about ProSe to be peculiar coming from one of the premier Land Mobile Radio (LMR) companies in the world that for many years has built mobile and handheld radios that provide push-to-talk on public safety and business radio networks and further provides the capability for off-network push-to-talk.

Off-network push-to-talk, which I have written about over the years, is critical to the ability of those in the field to communicate with others even when a network is not available—either because they are out of network range or because they are deep inside a structure and cannot reach the network that may be available on the street. Simplex, talk-around, or whatever you want to call it is vital to the operation of the public safety community. It is used every day by police, fire, and EMS personnel. Simplex provides one-to-one and one-to-many communications to any unit in range of the transmitting unit. Read the Entire Column Here .
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NIST Issues Guidance on IoT Security

Guidance designed to make Internet of things devices more secure was issued today by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  The new publication, “Securing Small-Business and Home Internet of Things (IoT) Devices: Mitigating Network-Based Attacks Using Manufacturer Usage Description (MUD),” recommends that IoT device makers use a MUD architecture that limits the ability of devices to communicate.  The MUD architecture provides “a standard way for manufacturers to indicate the network communications that each device requires to perform its intended function,” NIST said.  “When MUD is used, the network will automatically permit the IoT device to send and receive only this required traffic.” NIST is accepting comments on the publication through June 24.

Courtesy TRDaily


FCC Grants T-Band Waiver

The Policy and Licensing Division of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released an order today in file 0006440207 conditionally granting a waiver to the Rose Tree (Pa.) Fire Company allowing it to modify a public safety radio station by raising the antenna height of a base station using the 470-512 megahertz T-band.

Courtesy TRDaily

FCC Grants 800 MHz Band Waiver

The Policy and Licensing Division of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released an order today granting the Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp.’s request for a waiver to share use of the Tennessee Advanced Communications Network (TACN), a statewide radio system. “Based on the record, and for the reasons stated below, we (1) grant the request for a waiver of Section 90.179 with regard to MTEMC’s proposed use of TACN’s 800 MHz facilities, and (2) find that no waiver is necessary for MTEMC’s proposed use of TACN’s 700 MHz facilities because MTEMC has committed to abide by conditions that satisfy the eligibility criteria in Section 337 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Section 90.523(b) of the Commission rules,” the order said.

Courtesy TRDaily


FCC Announces 800 MHz Band Application Procedures

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security and Wireless Telecommunications bureaus issued a public notice today announcing dates and procedures for submitting applications for 800 megahertz expansion band and guard band channels, and channels in the interleaved segment vacated by Sprint Corp., in three National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) regions. The public notice in WT docket 02-55 also announced dates and procedures for submitting expansion and guard band applications for 21 NPSPAC regions where such licensing had been deferred. The procedures were established pursuant to an 800 MHz band report and order and order released last year (TR Daily, Oct. 22, 2018).

The three additional NPSPAC regions are Florida, Ohio, and Washington state. “Beginning on July 18, 2019, Commission-certified frequency coordinators may file applications, in the Universal Licensing System (ULS), on behalf of eligible applicants for the channels released by this Public Notice,” the bureaus announced. “From July 18, 2019, to July 17, 2022, the interleaved channels made available by this Public Notice will be available exclusively for licensing to public safety eligible entities. From July 18, 2022, to July 17, 2024, the channels made available by the records released by this Public Notice will be available exclusively for licensing to public safety eligible entities and critical infrastructure industry eligible entities.”

Courtesy TRDaily

CTIA: Carriers Waiting on FEMA to Test WEA Upgrades

Wireless carriers have taken the needed steps to deploy wireless emergency alert (WEA) upgrades required by a May 1 FCC deadline, but they can’t do so until the Federal Emergency Management Agency facilitates the necessary testing, CTIA told the FCC yesterday in an ex parte filing in PS dockets 15-91 and 15-94.

“Per the Commission’s rules, by May 1, 2019, participating commercial mobile service providers (CMSPs) are required to support (1) 360-character WEA messages, (2) Spanish-language WEA messages, (3) Public Safety WEA messages, (4) Alert Message prioritization, and (5) consumer opt-in capabilities for receiving State/Local WEA test messages (collectively WEA 2.0). CTIA respectfully submits this letter to update the Commission that participating CMSP member companies have taken the necessary steps to meet the May 1, 2019 deadline, but cannot deploy the new WEA 2.0 capabilities until Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) has the capability in place to support and complete its required testing for these new features,” CTIA said in its filing.

“Participating CMSPs and handset manufacturers have taken the steps within their control to support WEA 2.0 features by the May 1, 2019 deadline, including updating the relevant standards, implementing WEA 2.0 capabilities into their networks and deploying WEA-capable wireless handsets utilizing both Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS that support WEA 2.0,” CTIA added. “However, CTIA has recently confirmed that FEMA’s IPAWS gateway will not be ready to test WEA 2.0 by May 1, 2019. Once FEMA’s IPAWS gateway is capable of testing WEA 2.0, CTIA’s participating member companies are ready to test as soon as practicable and deploy the capability in coordination with FEMA. In the meantime, the Commission and FEMA should coordinate efforts to inform federal, state and local alert originators about the status of WEA 2.0 enhancements and effective utilization of WEA’s existing capabilities, including geotargeting and embedded links.”- Paul Kirby,

Courtesy TRDaily

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, April 18, 2019

Updates on What Public Safety Needs from Congress. This week APCO sent out an email asking for all of us to support the 9-1-1 Saves Act. This bill will upgrade 9-1-1 professionals and reclassify them as Protective Service employees. This should have been done years ago and I hope the re-designation will carry forward to non-sworn public safety dispatchers. There is a link for this important bill and a guide for you to follow on how to notify your U.S. Senators and Representatives, so please do so.

This is only one of the significant pieces of legislation that should be passed by Congress and signed into law. The issues I am concerned about include the T-Band, NG911, and 4.9 GHz if the FCC doesn’t leave it alone. The most recent bill introduced in the House replaces H.R.3994, which was passed in 2018 but died in the Senate where no vote was taken. This year it is back as H.R.1328 and must once again make the rounds.

I believe H.R.1328 is of vital interest to the public safety community. It is the Access Broadband Act that would create a single organization for tracking and helping implement rural and poverty-level broadband. Today there are numerous federal and state agencies involved in grants and loans, but there seems to be a serious lack of coordination. The Access Broadband Act is extremely important to rural broadband coverage and as such should be supported by the public safety community. Currently, its odds of gaining passage are slight unless more sponsors from both parties join the effort.
Read the Entire Column Here. 

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