Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, November 29, 2018

Presentations and Awards. On Tuesday the week before Thanksgiving, I flew to Denver to speak at a FirstNet Association (FNA) event and on Wednesday I flew home. Then on Thursday, I started out on what became a two-day trek to New York City due to weather delays. When I finally arrived in NYC, it was late on Friday so I was only able to join the Radio Club of America (RCA) board of directors meeting for the last thirty minutes. This was my last board meeting and I regret I could not have been there for the entire meeting but stormy weather and flying don’t often go well together.

FirstNet Association (FNA). The presentation I gave for attendees who came to hear the latest about FirstNet focused on coverage and the PowerPoint slides can be found here. The first slide set the level of expectations versus today’s progress. It shows that at present we are in month twenty of the contract between AT&T and FirstNet the Authority and outlined RFP-stated FirstNet milestones that would have to be met for the bidder to be compliant and on-track for building the network. When the RFP was developed, conventional wisdom was that a bidder would win the contract and deploy Band 14 (20 MHz of spectrum) for public safety over a five-year period.

Instead, when AT&T was awarded the contract, it provided public safety with full access to all AT&T LTE spectrum along with a plan to add Band 14 to its sites. The slide for month twenty states that at the end of twenty-four months of contract, “Achievement of 60% of contractor’s proposed Band 14 coverage in non-rural areas” should be complete. While only 60-percent of non-rural areas are required to be covered by Band 14 now, the FirstNet (Built with AT&T) footprint is much broader. Read the Entire Post Here. Continue reading

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

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

Pai Names BDAC Disaster Recovery Working Group Members

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today named the members of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee’s new disaster response and recovery working group, which he established in July when he added disaster response and recovery issues to the BDAC’s portfolio (TR Daily, July 27).

The working group will be chaired by Red Grasso, the FirstNet state point of contact for North Carolina, who works for the N.C. Department of Information Technology, according to a public notice released today in GN docket 17-83.  Jonathan Adelstein, president and chief executive officer of the Wireless Infrastructure Association, who is also a member of the full BDAC, will be the working group’s vice chair.

The group’s members cover a range of industry players as well as a variety of local, state, territorial, and tribal governments and associations, including the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials, the Georgia Municipal Association, the National Emergency Management Association, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council, the Puerto Rico Public Service Regulatory Board, the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, the city of Dallas, and the town of Germantown, Tenn.

The working group “is charged with recommending measures that can be taken to improve the resiliency of broadband infrastructure before a disaster occurs, as well as actions that can be taken to more quickly restore broadband infrastructure following a disaster.  Following what he heard on the ground in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, the Chairman has also charged the working group with developing best practices for coordination among wireless providers, backhaul providers, and power companies during and after a disaster,” according to the Chairman’s announcement. Continue reading

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

Esri Introduces ArcGIS Mobile App for FirstNet Ecosystem

October 22, 2018, The app, Explorer for ArcGIS, provides ArcGIS capabilities to agencies that might otherwise struggle to securely share mapping data.

Public safety and law enforcement agencies that have signed onto FirstNet will now be able to access ArcGIS, Esri’s mapping and spatial analysis technology, within the network’s app ecosystem.

The nation’s dedicated public safety broadband network announced the development of its app ecosystem last May, with AT&T hosting a flurry of hackathons and events to build out the catalog over the past year. The latest announcement — including apps from Esri, Netmotion, PulsePoint and SceneDoc — was made last Thursday.

Esri, which works with more than 350,000 governments and businesses worldwide, initially provided thought leadership and best practice ideas to FirstNet, according to Mike King, the company’s global public safety manager. When FirstNet awarded AT&T it’s contract to build out the public safety network, the working relationship between the two expanded, with Esri offering its APIs and SDKs to the FirstNet “developer” network — a free marketplace for developers to create their own applications.

Read complete article here: https://statescoop.com/esri-introduces-arcgis-mobile-app-for-firstnet-ecosystem

 

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, October 25, 2018

NG9-1-1, FirstNet, and LMR.  In early November, I will be at the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) Critical Communications Conference in Chicago. On the second day, I will be moderating a panel entitled, “LTE’s Interoperability with LMR and 911.” All the panelists are subject-matter experts so I have an easy job as moderator. Preparing for this panel started me thinking about what should be the true goal of an end-to-end public safety communications system. Once Next-Generation 9-1-1 has been widely implemented and the Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) and dispatch centers have been upgraded, the result should be a near-flawless system from the time a citizen calls 9-1-1 to the last unit on the scene being released and the paperwork completed.

PSAPs or 9-1-1 centers today, in most places, are still voice-centric in nature. The goal of NG9-1-1 is to modernize their capabilities to include incoming text messages, pictures, and videos. These can then be processed, and if needed, sent on to the responding units over FirstNet so those responding will have a better understanding of the incident and/or any vehicles or people fleeing the scene. Unfortunately, NG9-1-1 is the last piece of the puzzle for several reasons. First, many states have and continue to “re-appropriate” funds earmarked for 9-1-1 from all of our phone bills, and when Congress passed the bill that created FirstNet and allocated $7 billion for the initial costs of FirstNet, it only allocated $115 million for NG9-1-1, which is not enough to ensure NG9-1-1 upgrades for all PSAPs and dispatch centers.
Read the Entire Post Here Continue reading