WISPA Says 6 GHz Proposal ‘Excellent Starting Point’

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association has termed “an excellent starting point” steps proposed recently by 10 tech companies that they said would ensure that unlicensed devices in the 6 gigahertz band don’t cause harmful interference to incumbents (TR Daily, June 12).

The firms and 6 GHz band incumbents have been bickering for months about an analysis the tech firms submitted in January that concluded that unlicensed devices could share the 6 GHz band without causing harmful interference to primary incumbent operations (TR Daily, Jan. 26).

The analysis submitted in January was done by RKF Engineering Services LLC and submitted to the Commission by Apple, Inc., Broadcom Corp., Cisco Systems, Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Facebook, Inc., Google LLC, Intel Corp., MediaTek, Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Qualcomm, Inc. The recent proposal, as with other recent filings, was submitted by those companies, with the addition of Ruckus Networks and the omission of MediaTek. Continue reading

O’Rielly Criticizes Guam on 911 Fee Diversions

FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly today criticized Guam for diverting 911 funds for other purposes. In a letter to Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo (R.), Mr. O’Rielly complained that he has not responded to a letter that Mr. O’Rielly sent in February asking why Guam did not respond to the FCC’s most recent effort to gather data about 911 deployment, including diversions of 911 fees and surcharges (TR Daily, Feb. 20). In today’s letter, he also cited the apparent transfer of nearly $4 million from Guam’s 911 fund between 2014 and 2017.

“The citizens of Guam rely on the 9-1-1 system to work in their most dire times of need,” the Commissioner said. “It is beyond disappointing to learn that your territory has made a habit of diverting these funds for other purposes. Therefore, I respectfully request that you cease such diversionary practices at once, and work with the Commission to deliver on the promises of NextGen 911 for the residents of Guam.”

Courtesy TRDaily

FCC to Consider C-Band, EAS, Cellular, Number Portability Items

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said today that he plans to ask his colleagues to consider six items at their July 12 meeting that deal with the 3.7–4.2 gigahertz C-band, the Emergency Alert System (EAS), the 800 megahertz band, nationwide number portability, formal complaint proceedings, and children’s programming rules.

The FCC plans to release a tentative agenda for the meeting and the draft text of the items tomorrow.

In a blog posting today, Mr. Pai said that “[i]n response to a Notice of Inquiry we initiated last summer [TR Daily, Aug. 3, 2017], stakeholders have come up with a number of creative ideas for making better use of 3.7 to 4.2 GHz.  And next month, we’ll vote on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks more detailed feedback on those ideas that merit further exploration.  That Notice of Inquiry also sought comment on new uses in the 6 GHz band.  I’m pleased to say that we plan to move forward with a rulemaking on that spectrum this fall.” Continue reading

FCC Seeks Comments on 911 Network Reliability Rules

The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released a public notice today seeking comments on the agency’s network reliability rules, including outage notifications to public safety answering points (PSAPs). Among the questions the bureau asked is whether the agency should weaken the current regulations.

“Under current Commission rules, ‘covered 911 service providers’ are required to: 1) take ‘reasonable measures’ to ensure 911 circuit diversity, availability of central office backup power, and diverse network monitoring; 2) certify annually to their performance of these measures, or to alternative measures demonstrated to be reasonably sufficient to mitigate the risk of failure; and 3) notify PSAPs of outages that potentially affect them,” the bureau noted in the public notice in PS docket 13-75. “When the Commission adopted these rules [TR Daily, Dec. 12, 2013], it committed to review them in five years to determine whether they remain technologically appropriate, and both adequate and necessary to ensure the reliability and resiliency of 911 networks. The Bureau invites interested parties to provide comments and other information regarding how effective these provisions have been in practice, and whether these provisions should be modified to adapt to advancements in technology or other changes. The Bureau will use the record from this Public Notice to recommend next steps, if any, for the Commission’s consideration.” Continue reading

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, June 14, 2018

FirstNet and Interoperability.  During speeches at the recent PSCR meeting in San Diego, two people made points that started me thinking about what lies ahead for FirstNet. The first was the Chair of The FirstNet Authority, Sue Swenson, who talked about FirstNet ending Chapter One on a high note and starting Chapter Two. The second was TJ Kennedy, who announced formation of the Public Safety Technical Alliance (PSTA), a non-profit that has been formed to work with the public safety community, vendors, and others to ensure components for FirstNet (Built by AT&T) meet the open standard mandate put into place by FirstNet the Authority.

Sue talked about the first chapter for FirstNet being a long one for many of us, spanning more than ten years. However, it concluded with the network in place, all 56 states and territories opting in, a large number of public safety agencies joining FirstNet (Built by AT&T), more approved devices coming to market, and momentum that will carry us into Chapter Two. As promised, the network is nationwide, it provides end-to-end encryption, has its own core, and delivers full pre-emption for the first responder community. Chapter Two then will be about what runs on the network and how to maintain full interoperability. The rationale for FirstNet was to provide a coast-to-coast and border-to-border network where vehicles and people could move into other jurisdictions to assist in an incident and not only have a common network but to be assured that what rides on the network in terms of applications, data access, and voice are all fully interoperable.

To this end, TJ Kennedy and a host of others formed the PSTA to work with FirstNet, public safety, vendors, and others to make sure what flows over the network is “operable” for all. However, before we start on Chapter Two, we must first understand that like any broadband network, it will never be truly finished. It will continue to grow, new sites will be added as needed, and it will encompass 5G small cells, the Internet of Things (IoT), and other related purposes for the network. AT&T recently committed $2 billion to building out FirstNet in rural America, which will also enable rural businesses and citizens to gain access to broadband they have never had before. Even after the 25-year contract is over, the network will continue to grow and expand using whatever new technology replaces 4G and 5G.
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Apple’s iOS 12 to Share Location Data with PSAPs

Apple, Inc., announced today that users of iPhones with iOS 12 will automatically share the location information of the devices when users call 911 beginning later this year.

“Approximately 80 percent of 911 calls today come from mobile devices, but outdated, landline-era infrastructure often makes it difficult for 911 centers to quickly and accurately obtain a mobile caller’s location,” Apple noted in a news release. “To address this challenge, Apple launched HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location) in 2015, which estimates a mobile 911 caller’s location using cell towers and on-device data sources like GPS and WiFi Access Points. Apple today announced it will also use emergency technology company RapidSOS’s Internet Protocol-based data pipeline to quickly and securely share HELO location data with 911 centers, improving response time when lives and property are at risk. RapidSOS’s system will deliver the emergency location data of iOS users by integrating with many 911 centers’ existing software, which rely on industry-standard protocols.”

“Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal,” said Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook. “When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance.” Continue reading