EWA Supports T-Band Giveback Rescission Bill

The Enterprise Wireless Alliance is asking its members to contact members of Congress to express support for legislation (HR 5085) introduced by Rep. Elliot Engel (D., N.Y.) that would repeal a provision included in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 that requires the T-band to be reauctioned by the FCC for commercial use (TR Daily, Feb. 27).

Courtesy TRDaily

News Release: DHS S&T Seeks Innovators to Collaborate on Smart Cities Technologies

Release Date: January 4, 2018

For Immediate Release
DHS S&T Press Office, (202) 254-2385

WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and its research and development (R&D) partners today issued a Request for Innovators (RFI) seeking to prototype, test and transition cutting-edge emergency response technologies. The goal is to put tools with smart city and Internet of Things capabilities into the hands of first responders by 2020.

“We welcome every opportunity to engage the innovation community in our R&D efforts,” said Director of S&T’s First Responders Group Dan Cotter. “This RFI is part of a larger smart cities effort announced in September to spur economic growth and invest in the men and women who protect our communities. We look forward to collaborating to increase first responder safety and efficiency.

S&T and its partners at the Center for Innovative Technology, Smart City Works and TechNexus are seeking new capabilities to support first responders in three specific areas:

  • Autonomous navigation for indoor drones in support of search and rescue missions in difficult environments, such as fire or earthquake damaged structures. Separate sensor prototypes are also sought: a WiFi finder sensor for smart phone signals and a thermal sensor for detecting the heat signatures of people or other living creatures.
  • Indoor building sensor suite (digital image, video, thermal or WiFi finder) to be mounted on fixed indoor building features, such as smoke detectors or exit signs. Sensor processing will be able to establish a baseline layout of indoor space and detect changes when events impact interiors and/or occupants.
  • Body-worn responder interoperability platform that integrates personal area network communications with third-party sensor packages. This Smart Hub will also communicate with non-body-worn sensors, such as smart building and smart city technologies, and responders would use it for situational awareness and to support enhanced mission-critical operations.

DHS S&T invites parties to express interest by January 18, with invited final responses due by February 15, 2018. Final selection will be announced in March 2018. Selected performers will be funded at $50,000 for an initial first cut prototype. Some will be selected for a second funded validation prototype (at $100,000) over a total period of 18 months. The goal at the end of the second round is to have commercially-relevant capabilities that are also ready as a minimum viable product for initial field testing with responders.

More details about funding, evaluation criteria and the application process are at http://www.cit.org/sciti/. Please direct inquiries to SCITI.Info@cit.org for general questions or additional information.


S&T Facebook Live: Deconstructing SBIR – Shining Light on the Proposal Submission Process

The DHS Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Pre-Solicitation will be posted to FedBizOpps.com soon, and we want to take the opportunity to answer your questions about the SBIR proposal submission process.

DHS uses the SBIR program to fund technology solutions for identified technology needs. We are committed to finding promising small businesses and innovative approaches to help address homeland security needs. SBIR is an excellent opportunity for agile, innovative small businesses to support and advance homeland security, without the need for previous federal contracting experience or knowledge.

If you have 500 employees or less, and are a small business, women-owned small business, or disadvantage small business with we want to work with you.  Not sure what the next step is to participate in SBIR? Join us December 5 at 1 p.m. EST, on our Facebook account for a Facebook Live Tech Talk. Got Innovation? We’ve got answers and potential funding! We hope to see you there.

FCC Issues Public Notice on Forum on Improving Sharing in the 800 MHz Band

The FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB), Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Office of Engineering and Technology will host a public forum on improving the co-existence of Cellular (and other commercial wireless) licensees and public safety licensees in the 800 MHz band. The forum will be held on Monday, November 6, 2017, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC.

In its Cellular Reform Second Report and Order adopted March 23, 2017,1 the Commission revised the Cellular Service power and related technical rules to provide much more flexibility in deployment of advanced broadband services and promote spectral efficiency, while taking steps to protect public safety and other systems in the 800 MHz band from potential increased interference. Recognizing that stakeholder-led efforts on the part of Cellular licensees, public safety entities, and public safety equipment manufacturers are crucial to resolving lingering concerns about unacceptable interference to public safety mobile and portable radios, the Commission directed the Bureaus to convene a forum to foster the conversation and further good-faith efforts among representatives of these stakeholders.2

The forum on November 6th will include the perspectives of all three groups and various other interested parties in exploring the existing 800 MHz interference environment, realistic anticipated changes in that environment, and practical options for addressing both existing and anticipated interference problems without hindering technological advances in the Cellular Service. A detailed agenda will be released prior to the forum.

Attendance. This forum is open to the public. Due to the high number of anticipated attendees and security check-in procedures, all attendees are advised to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the session of interest. Attendees are not required to pre-register, but may submit their name and company affiliation ahead of time by sending an email to Cecilia Sulhoff (cecilia.sulhoff@fcc.gov) in order to expedite the check-in process.

To view the webcast, go to the FCC web page at http://www.fcc.gov/live. Viewers will be able to submit questions during the forum by email to livequestions@fcc.gov.

For further information on the public forum, contact Thomas Derenge, WTB, at (202) 418-2451

or by email: thomas.derenge@fcc.gov. For logistical questions, please contact Cecilia Sulhoff, WTB, at (202) 418-0587 or by email: cecilia.sulhoff@fcc.gov. For more news and information about the Federal Communications Commission, please visit: http://www.fcc.gov.

Rosenworcel, Carr Seen As Likely FCC Nominees; Clyburn Expected to Leave

Former FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel is still expected to be nominated by President Trump to return to her old job, while FCC General Counsel Brendan Carr is expected to be nominated to fill the open Republican seat, according to a number of sources. Meanwhile, there is speculation that Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn will step down when her term expires on June 30, even though she could remain in her job until Congress finishes its work at the end of next year’s congressional session, unless a successor is confirmed by the Senate earlier than that. If she stepped down before another Commissioner was confirmed, it would leave the agency without a quorum.

Ms. Clyburn has sidestepped questions recently about her plans. Asked last month whether she is “done” with an “official governmental capacity,” Commissioner Clyburn pointed out that she doesn’t control whether she is renominated or reconfirmed (TR Daily, May 16). Her office declined to comment today. Continue reading

Schumer Criticizes Proposed Grant Fund Cuts

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), says the attacks in London this past weekend show the need to retain funding for homeland security grant programs in the U.S., rather than cut them. “Amazingly, with terrorism on the rise, President Trump actually proposed cutting vital anti-terrorism funding in his budget last week. He has proposed cutting anti-terrorism funds, including a 25% cut to UASI [Urban Area Security Initiative], a program that is essential to major city police departments, including New York, in their fight against terror. These proposed cuts would make us less safe,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement yesterday. “Given what has happened in Europe we are calling on the President to immediately abandon these proposed cuts.”

Courtesy TRDaily

FirstNet Looks Forward to State Plan ‘Kick-off’

The First Responder Network Authority is looking forward to a state plan “kick-off’ meeting in Dallas this week with state single points of contact (SPOCs), FirstNet Chief Customer Officer Rich Reed said in a blog posting today. “This will be an opportunity for all of us to review the State Plans process in detail and for the states to understand how the online portal will operate,” he said. “In addition, there will be a number of opportunities for the SPOCs and their teams to learn more about the FirstNet Network solution and the State Plan review process.” FirstNet plans to deliver the draft state plans around June 19.

Courtesy TRDaily