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.
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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

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.

 

 

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

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.
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Free Webcast, November 7, 10:00 A.M. PDT on Understanding Grants Process for FirstNet Projects

Understanding the Grants Process for FirstNet Projects (Part 1)

About this Webinar

Seeking and applying for a grant can be a daunting process. This three-part free webinar series will help state, local, and tribal entities, public safety entities, and public safety consultants navigate and understand the finer aspects entailed in applying for grants.

In Part I, the focus will be upon the steps necessary to complete before submitting the grant application. This webinar series delves into greater detail of all the topics covered previously in the first webinar to enhance the potential for success of a grant application. The subject areas will be reviewed in more detail at a granular level. If you missed the first one, Funding FirstNet Communications Projects with Federal Grants, we encourage you to view the slides prior to this webinar.
Discussion Topics

DEFINE THE FIRSTNET PROJECT
•    What does this look like?
•    What should be considered?
CONDUCT NEEDS ASSESSMENT
•    What and who is needed in the grant?
•    Who should be involved in the process?
RESEARCH FUNDING
•    Where to look for grants and what you need to know before you apply.
•    Mandatory requirements for consideration.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
•    Good to know before you write your grant.