Monday, October 29, 2012

Las Vegas Metro PD Radio System

Las Vegas police dump problem radio system: On Oct. 11, Gillespie informed the CEO of the Harris Corp. that his company's Desert Sky radio system cannot meet his department's needs. That's a sharp change from past statements and advice to officers to remain patient while system bugs are fixed.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Pentagon shutters Joint Tactical Radio System program office -

Pentagon shutters Joint Tactical Radio System program office: After struggling for 15 years to develop a software-based radio for all four services at a cost of $15 billion, the Pentagon quietly shut down the Joint Tactical Radio System program office earlier this month and transferred its acquisition functions to the Army.

FCC Puts Local Public-Safety Networks on Hold -

FCC Puts Local Public-Safety Networks on Hold (subscription): Federal regulators affirmed Tuesday that most cities and states planning to start wireless broadband networks for police and other first responders must wait until a new national public-safety network is operational.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How Obama's visit showed Oakland radios' unreliability

How Obama's visit showed Oakland radios' unreliability: This city's year-old $18 million police radio system failed repeatedly during President Barack Obama's visit to Oakland on Monday and during protests surrounding it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The FirstNet Board of Directors - Andy Seybold

The FirstNet Board of Directors: These people must be recruited from within the wireless industry, preferably from among those who have “already been there and already done that.” In order to attract the quality of people needed, I believe their compensation level will have to be well beyond Federal Executive Level 4. As an independent authority, FirstNet employees should not report to the NTIA, they should report to the FirstNet board.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Competition Worries Snag Verizon Deal -

Competition Worries Snag Verizon Deal: The Justice Department is holding up Verizon Wireless's $3.9 billion deal to acquire cable-company airwaves over concerns a related agreement will hurt competition for broadband Internet service, according to people familiar with the matter.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Remember to Feed the Elephants - David Kahn

Elephant #4 - Public Safety needs an applications interoperability platform: Public-safety communications professionals are excited about the federal legislation enacted in February — and with good reason. The new law grants the 700 MHz spectrum known as the D Block to public safety and provides $7 billion in initial funding for a nationwide broadband voice and data communications network.

Earlier this year I attended NIST’s 700 MHz Public Safety Broadband Demonstration Stakeholders Meeting, where very smart people presented their visions for the national LTE/4G network. However there seemed to be a few elephants in the room that largely were ignored, as follows.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

BTOP Grants for Public Safety Slowed

Strickling Defends Stand-Down of Public Safety Net Projects: National Telecommunications Information Administration chief Larry Strickling found himself defending the agency's decision last week to put a partial hold on seven broadband public safety network projects, including ones funded through broadband grants.

At a House Communications Subcommittee Hearing on NTIA's and the Rural Utilities Service broadband grants under the Farm Bill and Recovery Act, Strickling was hit with questions from Republican legislators from states -- Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas -- whose projects had gotten the word to stand down, at least until NTIA vets them against plans for a national interoperable broadband public safety network, now being dubbed FirstNet, which NTIA is helping oversee.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Emergency services getting a static-free slice of broadband

Canadian emergency services getting a static-free slice of broadband: Police officers, firefighters and paramedics across [Canada] soon will be able to communicate with each other using a broadband network dedicated to emergency services.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews announced Thursday the allocation of 10 MHz of the highly coveted 700 MHz broadband spectrum for use by emergency service providers.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How Verizon Wireless May Kill Hope for LTE Interoperability - Businessweek

How Verizon Wireless May Kill Hope for LTE Interoperability - Businessweek: The technology wars were supposed to be over. The global adoption of LTE as a common 4G technology was going to heal the rift between the CDMA and GSM camps and give U.S. consumers more freedom to switch between carriers, as well as the ability to choose from a set of common devices that could work on any network. Well, forget it. Verizon Wireless’s planned sale of its extra LTE spectrum pretty much quashes that dream.

Instead of coalescing around mutually exclusive technologies, U.S. carriers are now coalescing around mutually exclusive spectrum bands. The result is the same: A Verizon LTE phone won’t work on an AT&T (T) LTE network and vice-versa.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New York City CTO resigns over public safety wireless network debacle | MuniWireless: WiFi, LTE, 4G

New York City CTO resigns over public safety wireless network debacle: The NYC Wireless Network (NYCWiN) launched in 2008, more than four years after the RFP was issued, and many had high hopes for the network, which was to be dedicated to one use: public safety. The users of the network were to be the NY Police Department and the NY Fire Department.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

FCC staff: A broadband baseline is needed - FCC staff offered their assessment of interoperability issues under consideration with public safety broadband prior to passage of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Spectrum Act).

Monday, March 26, 2012

Public Safety Broadband: Measuring Success �

Public Safety Broadband: Measuring Success � Now that the 700 MHz D-Block has been reallocated to Public Safety to provide 20 MHz (10X10 MHz) of total nationwide broadband spectrum, funding, and a new governance organization, how do we measure the success of this new network? I believe it is important to be able to provide both those who doubt its viability and those who might be interested in forming public/private partnerships with a way to measure the level of success as the network is built and put into operation.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

700 MHz public-safety LTE network won't break ground for a year - FierceBroadbandWireless

700 MHz public-safety LTE network won't break ground for a year - FierceBroadbandWireless: Construction on the public-safety LTE network planned for 700 MHz D-block spectrum will likely not begin for at least a year because the government must first accomplish considerable planning and setup work.

FirstNet, the authority charged with managing the public-safety network, must be established by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) by Aug. 20. Once FirstNet's 15-member board is set up, it will begin addressing a host of formative tasks, including releasing a request for proposal (RFP) for construction of the nationwide network, which it can only do after it consults with representatives of each state, according to an article in Urgent Communications. The publication quoted Anna Gomez, NTIA's deputy assistant secretary, as saying this RFP process is going to take several months to complete once it is initiated.

D-Block network won't be available for first responders for a while - Tony Romm -

D-Block network won't be available for first responders for a while -
It took years for lawmakers to approve a wireless broadband network for police officers and firefighters.
And it’ll be a few more years, at least, before that system is available to first responders nationwide. With new resources from Congress in hand, regulators and public safety agencies are just now beginning to translate their vision for an upgraded communications system into reality. How they meet a series of tough benchmarks over the next six months will be critical to the success or failure of the long-sought network.

In the process, regulators seem poised to grapple with the likelihood that a nationwide public safety broadband system could prove more costly than Congress imagined, and just as difficult and expensive to build and operate as critics have suggested.

Monday, February 27, 2012

DHS wants to ride commercial wave for interoperable radio network - "We have this wave of commercial capability that is outstripping everything we've done in our traditional land mobile radio capability," said Richard Spires, DHS chief information officer, Friday during a breakfast sponsored by AFCEA Bethesda in Bethesda, Md. "How is that we can, as a government, start to leverage that capability? I don't want to be in the business of building towers. We just don't want to do that anymore. We are not that good at that. We are not a telecommunications provider. That is not our expertise. We want to buy these capabilities as services."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Homeland Security Today: Despite Funding of Public Safety Broadband Network, Technical Challenges May Keep First Responders from Using it For a Decade: President Barack Obama signed legislation Wednesday to fund a nationwide interoperable broadband communications network for US first responders, but congressional investigators warned the same day that it could take a decade for the network to materialize as envisioned.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Public safety gets its D Block wish, doesn't have to return narrowband spectrum -- Urgent Communications: Over the past eight years, there have been three all-consuming stories that we have covered: the reconfiguration of the 800 MHz band, the narrowbanding of spectrum in the UHF band, and public safety’s pursuit of spectrum in the 700 MHz band — the so-called D Block — that would provide the foundation for a nationwide wireless broadband network. Today, as Senior Writer Donny Jackson reports, Congress has struck a deal to make that network possible by reallocating the D Block to public safety and committing $7 billion of federal money to build it.
Obama's Next Solyndra-Style Scandal Is Called "LA-RICS" - Forbes: "Remember those 'shovel ready' jobs that President Obama promised the $700 billion stimulus bill would create? Almost four years and more than $250 million in federal grants later, they still haven’t arrived in Los Angeles.

"Meanwhile, life-saving improvements to the police, fire and other local government communications systems have been delayed–putting the more than 9 million residents of Los Angeles County at risk.'

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Why public shouldn't return narrowband spectrum in D Block deal: We are fast approaching the sixth anniversary of Morgan O’Brien’s pronouncement — made during his keynote address at IWCE — that not only should a wireless broadband network for first responders be deployed, it also was feasible. There were a great many skeptics at the time who posed a slew of legitimate questions.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Will DOJ Tech Project Die After 10 Years?: A secure, interoperable radio network that the Department of Justice has been working on for more than a decade and that has cost the agency $356 million may be headed for failure, according to a new report by the agency's inspector general.

According to the report, inadequate funding, frequent revisions to DOJ's plans, and poor coordination threaten the success of the Integrated Wireless Network (IWS) and could leave the agency with obsolete radio equipment that doesn't communicate well with other radio systems, which could in turn pose a threat to public safety.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

FCC sees support for incentive auctions of wireless spectrum - Julius Genachowski, the top U.S. telecommunications regulator, said on Wednesday that he has received bi-partisan support from a group of U.S. senators for so-called "incentive" auctions of wireless spectrum without legislative restrictions.

Genachowski, chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, is looking for approval to give broadcasters a financial incentive to return unused spectrum licenses to the FCC so it can then auction off the spectrum to companies offering mobile data services.
Bay Area cities prepare for key vote on public-safety LTE -- Urgent Communications: Representatives of governmental entities in the San Francisco Bay Area are scheduled to vote next Thursday to decide whether their public-safety agencies will participate in the deployment and operation of a much-anticipated LTE network for the region’s first responders that would be built by Motorola Solutions.

Members of the Bay Area Regional Interoperable Communications System (BayRICS) Authority next Thursday are expected to vote on the project, which likely will be smaller than originally envisioned. Proposed as 193-site LTE system, most discussions during last week’s BayRICS Authority meeting called for the number of sites to be reduced by at least 25% and that the public-access component of the proposal may be scrapped.