Monday, April 20, 2009

Verizon urges scrapping D-Block auction process: "Verizon Wireless is proposing Congress and the FCC scrap a plan to re-auction the 700 MHz D-Block and instead focus on a new plan to create a nationwide, interoperable, 4G broadband network for first responders, according to a company executive.

Steve Zipperstein, Verizon's vice president for legal and external affairs and the carrier's general counsel, said the government should not rehash a process that has already failed (D-Block bids during last year's 700 MHz auction did not pass the required $1.3 billion reserve). Thus, Zipperstein argued for a new approach--one far different than the FCC's proposed D-Block re-auction.

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Zipperstein called for allocating the D-Block spectrum directly to public safety organizations on a state, local and regional basis, which he said would give public safety more control over the spectrum. Zipperstein said that 'bold action' was necessary to 'overcome the inertia' of creating an interoperable network for public safety."
A thorough analysis of Jordan's Emergency Communication Interoperability Plan reveals an inadequate status and proposes remedies.: "A new report from Arab Advisors Group analyzes Jordan's current Emergency Communications Interoperability Plans (JECIP), policies, Emergency Operation Plans (EOPs) and compares Jordan's Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief (HA/DR) communications readiness level with that in the United States.

The thorough analysis results in proposed amendments to Jordan's Emergency Communications Interoperability Plan (JECIP). These suggestions are based on the analysis of the technological aspects of emergency communications, Jordan's communications environment, the requirements analysis of the emergency communications plan, and lessons learned from the U.S.'s experience in emergency communications."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

New York Statewide Wireless Interoperable Communications Network Refocused on Regional Systems: "New York state spent the second half of the Bush Administration and over $100 million developing a statewide wireless network it was hoped would provide public safety and public service agencies across the state with interoperable communications only to go back to the drawing board earlier this month. The network, which was expected to cost $2 billion, was the largest IT project in the state's history. The state Office for Technology awarded the contract to build the system to M/A-COM in April 2004. After problems with several rounds of testing the state officially terminated its contract with M/A-COM in January of this year.

During a testing period in November 2008 the network had 14.5 cumulative hours of down time, which is well above the U.S. standard of just 52.6 minutes per year. Nearly a third of the radios had malfunctioned, a spokeswoman for OFT told Government Technology in January. And so the New York State's Statewide Interoperability Advisory Council met in late March to discuss the path forward. State CIO Melodie Mayberry-Stewart announced the appointment of Harry J. Corbitt, superintendent of the New York State Police as co-chairman of a refocused advisory council, and representatives of first responders provided their perspectives on moving forward."

Friday, April 03, 2009

AT&T lobbyist urges Congressional action: World governments need to do more to fight cyberterrorism and protect the Internet from attacks, because the Web has become so vital to commerce and communications, AT&T Inc.'s top lobbyist told reporters today.

"The [U.S.] government is not playing the role it should have all along," said James Cicconi, senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs at AT&T. "The government ought to play a coordinating role in cybersecurity."
Additionally, Cicconi urged the Federal Communications Commission and Congress to do more to support interoperability of the radio communication systems used by emergency first-responders, so that they can communicate more easily with one another. That same plea was made earlier today in a CTIA conference keynote address by Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Verizon Communications Inc., who called for giving radio spectrum to first responders, including thousands of police and fire departments nationwide.

Cicconi said the current policy has failed because it's designed to encourage a public-private partnership for radio interoperability. "Congress has tried to do [interoperability] on the cheap," he claimed. "We can't go through another terrorist attack [such as 9/11] without such an important provision in place."

He suggested that Congress should hold hearings on what to do, saying that, among other things, lawmakers should consider funding first responder units nationwide to deal with setting up interoperable technologies.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

NIST Announces P25 CAP Lab Evaluation Processes: "To help ensure that first responders, public safety officers and military personnel can always talk with each other no matter what communications equipment they are using (a characteristic known as interoperability), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have teamed up to create the Project 25 Conformity Assessment Program (P25 CAP).

The latest milestone of the recently launched program is the publication of the 2009 edition of NIST Handbook 153, Laboratory Recognition Process for Project 25 Compliance Assessment. The guide details the procedures by which independent testing laboratories can be evaluated for their ability to determine how well public safety and emergency communications devices meet the performance standard for interoperability known as Project 25 (P25)."