Need Help getting a local interopability project going? Ask the
State Interoperability Communications Team for help.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

FirstNet Weekly Update - October 14, 2014

FirstNet News

·         The deadline to respond to both the Request for Information (RFI) and the Public Notice has been extended to October 27.

·         FirstNet conducted the third state consultation meeting in Oregon on October 8 with nearly 90 state and local public safety representatives from across the state, including Steve Noel, the Oregon SPOC. This meeting laid a strong foundation for a continued relationship with our public safety stakeholders in Oregon. The meeting included a robust dialog about FirstNet, our acquisition planning, and our consultation process.  Read more on the FirstNet blog:

·         The FirstNet CTO and Deputy CTO attended the Identity, Credential, and Access Management (ICAM) National Strategy Summit on October 8-9.

·         FirstNet presented at the West Virginia State Interoperable Radio (SIRN) conference on October 6 and at the Colorado APCO/NENA conference on October 9. FirstNet also visited with the project managers for the Adcom 911 BTOP project.

·         The next consultation meetings will be October 16 in Washington; October 29 in Montana; November 6 in Utah; November 18 in Iowa; and December 12 in Florida.


From the States and PSAC Organizations

·         FirstNet is presenting at the Idaho Public Safety Technologies Summit in Boise, Idaho on October 14.



Media Watch

*The information provided is copied as-is from the media outlet source and is not edited by FirstNet.  Links to non-Federal Government websites do not constitute endorsement of any product, service, organization, company, information provider, or content.  Clicking on non-Department of Commerce hyperlinks will direct you to websites that are not under the Government’s control.


Traditional Media
This past week, we saw a blog published on Urgent Communications’ website that references issues brought up in an article from McClatchy News several weeks ago. 
You can find the article on the Urgent Communication website:

FedScoop: FirstNet facing Commercial Device Reality, but Market and Security Concerns Persist (10/9/14)
Most commercial smartphones don’t allow users to access the public safety spectrum. The First Responder Network Authority, the independent federal organization tasked by Congress to build a nationwide public safety broadband network for first responders, may be leaning toward allowing commercial mobile devices on the network once it is built, FedScoop has learned.


TR Daily (Summary): FirstNet Extends RFI Comment Deadline (10/8/14)
The First Responder Network Authority has extended by 10 days the deadline for comments on a comprehensive network solution request for information (RFI). The new deadline is Oct. 27.

California Newswire: California Bill to Facilitate Texting to 911, Modernize Emergency Communications Signed into Law – SB 1211 (10/8/14)
Calif. Gov. Brown this past week signed Senate Bill 1211, authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima). The bill moves California another step closer to enable citizens to text to 911 for emergency assistance by establishing a transparent and efficient process for funding essential upgrades to the state’s 911 public safety communications systems. The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2015…The bill also helps California leverage the federal funds it has begun to receive for FirstNet, a new public safety broadband network that federal law directs should be integrated with the 911 system.


Radio Resource Media Group: Q&A with FirstNet’s Acting General Manager (10/7/14)
TJ Kennedy, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) acting general manager, answers questions from MissionCritical Communications regarding FirstNet’s latest data collection efforts. Describe the SOO and its purpose. The draft statement of objectives (SOO) is a key part of the request for information (RFI). One of our goals within the RFI is to maximize transparency and share information with a prospective industry partner and the public. Publishing the SOO assists us in achieving that goal. The SOO provides the foundation for FirstNet’s overall acquisitions approach. The detailed responses that we receive on the RFI and draft SOO will influence FirstNet’s development of possible future RFPs.


Social Media

The FirstNet Twitter account is now up to over 1,025 followers.  It has been a great tool for the FirstNet team to use to assist with outreach, recruiting and more.  The LinkedIn account has more than 270 followers.  The FirstNet YouTube account continues to grow its subscriber base, now at 66. Also this week we began posting to Google Plus:,  The social network will assist with our search engine optimization efforts.  Our blog posts from this week can be found at:
Monday, October 06, 2014

Fall SWIC Newsletter

The Fall edition of the SWIC Newsletter has been released. It contains valuable information regarding various OEC programs which support SWIC activities, as well as content provided by SWICs Steve Noel (OR), Chuck Murph (AL), Craig Allen (IA), and Brandon Smith (VA).
Friday, October 03, 2014

2014 SWIC Success Stories

The 2014 SWIC Success Stories have been released which were developed in collaboration with the joint SAFECOM Funding and Sustainment Committee and the NCSWIC Sustainment Working Group.  This document highlights States’ successes as a result of resent SWIC’s efforts.  These individual stories are just a snapshot of SWIC achievements in 2014.
Thursday, October 02, 2014

WI FirstNet Newsletter - October 2014

Please find the second newsletter dedicated to the Public Safety Broadband Wireless project in Wisconsin. It may be found here: October 2014 WI FirstNet Newsletter

Thursday, October 02, 2014

FCC Update for the Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB)

·            700 MHz Narrowband R&O Latest Update:  The Commission has been receiving waiver requests seeking relief from the December 31, 2016, 700 MHz narrowbanding deadline.  The FCC and the Public Safety Bureau have been hard at work and focused on releasing this rulemaking as soon as possible.

·            FCC Announces Agenda for October Open Meeting:  FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that the following items will be on the tentative agenda for the next open meeting scheduled for Friday, October 17, 2014: 

    • Spectrum Frontiers NOI: The Commission will consider a Notice of Inquiry to explore innovative developments in the use of spectrum above 24 GHz for mobile wireless services, and how the Commission can facilitate the development and deployment of those technologies.
    • Wireless Infrastructure Report and Order: The Commission will consider a Report and Order that takes critical steps to promote the deployment of wireless infrastructure necessary to provide the public with ubiquitous, advanced wireless broadband services.
    • Aggregate Interference and Inter-Service Interference Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: The Commission will consider a proceeding to address aggregate broadcaster-to-broadcaster interference and the methodology for predicting interference between broadcast and wireless operations in the same or adjacent channels in nearby markets during and following the Incentive Auction.
    •  Digital Low Power Television Third NPRM and Suspension Public Notice: The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding measures to facilitate the final conversion of low power TV and TV translator stations to digital service, and mitigating the potential impact of the incentive auction and the repacking process. The Commission will also consider a concurrent Public Notice suspending expiration dates and construction deadlines for all outstanding unexpired construction permits for new digital low power television and TV translator stations.
    • 911 Outage Presentation: The Commission will hear a presentation regarding an inquiry into a major 911service outage that affected seven states in April 2014. The presentation will include findings from a report on the causes and effects of the outage as well as recommendations on actions the industry, the Commission and state governments can take to strengthen the reliability and resiliency of 911 services as the nation transitions to Next Generation 911.

 The Open Meeting is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. in Room TW-C305, at 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. The event will be shown live at


·         Fake Cell Towers:  FCC rules prohibit the intentional or willful interception of cellular communications.  The FCC is aware of stories in the media regarding these devices and has put together a team to look into the facts surrounding these allegations.

·         700 MHz Mexico and Canada Cross-Border Agreements:  In September 2012, Cofetel announced its recommendation that Mexico adopt the 700 MHz Asia Pacific (APT) band plan, which raises interference concerns for the U.S.  In 2013, Mexico replaced Cofetel with a new regulatory agency, IFETEL, but this is unlikely to change Mexico’s position on 700 MHz.

·            911 – Non-Service Initialized Cellphones:  The Bureau has been working this issue and plans to release a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking outlining a potential course of action and will seek public comment.


Chronological Overview of Recent FCC Public Safety Related Releases


October 1:  Workshop on Tower Climber Safety and Injury Prevention:


September 16:  Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Announces Comment and Reply Comment Dates for the Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Text-to-911 Proceeding.


Comment Date:  October 16, 2014

Reply Comment Date:  November 17, 2014


For further information regarding this proceeding, contact Dana Zelman, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, Policy and Licensing Division,, 202-418-0546.


The Rulemaking is attached to this email.  Here’s the notice that accompanied the release of the rulemaking in August:




Building on the Progress of Large Wireless Carriers,

FCC Establishes Timetable for Remaining Text Messaging Providers to Support Text-to-911


Washington, D.C. –The Federal Communications Commission today adopted rules requiring text messaging providers to enable Americans to text 911 in an emergency. Building on commitments made by America’s four largest wireless carriers to support text-to-911 by May 2014, the new rules will ensure that all remaining wireless carriers and certain IP-based text application providers are prepared to support text-to-911 by the end of the year. After that time, if a 911 call center requests text-to-911, text messaging providers will have six months to deploy the service in that area.


Today’s action will make text-to-911 more uniformly available and keeps pace with how Americans communicate. Reports indicate that more than 7 out of 10 cell phone users send or receive text messages. Text messaging is also widely used by Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities.


The Commission’s text-to-911 requirements apply to wireless carriers and “interconnected” text messaging providers (i.e., those which enable consumers to send text messages to and from U.S. phone numbers). This includes providers of “over the top” applications that support texting to and from phone numbers but not, for example, messaging apps that only support communications among users of games or social media.


The Commission also adopted a Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks comment on the continued evolution of text-to-911, including the delivery of location information and support for text-to-911 when roaming.


Although text-to-911 availability is currently limited, it is rapidly expanding. More than one hundred 911 call centers serving portions of 16 states and two entire states (Vermont and Maine) are now accepting emergency texts, and there are already reports of lives saved. To help protect consumers as text-to-911 is deployed, the Commission previously adopted rules requiring text messaging providers to send an automatic “bounce-back” text message to consumers who try to text 911 where the service is not available.


Text-to-911 can provide a lifesaving alternative in a number of different situations, such as where a person who is deaf, hard of hearing, or has a speech disability is unable to make a voice call; where voice networks are congested; or where a 911 voice call could endanger the caller. Approximately 48 million Americans are deaf or hard of hearing, and approximately 7.5 million Americans have speech disabilities. However text-to-911 is a complement to, not a substitute for, existing voice-based 911 service, so consumers should make a voice call to contact 911 during an emergency when possible; consumers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled should use relay services or other existing methods to contact 911 if text-to-911 is unavailable.


Action by the Commission August 8, 2014, by Second Report and Order and Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 14-118).  Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Rosenworcel, Commissioner Clyburn approving in part and dissenting in part, Commissioner Pai dissenting and Commissioner O’Rielly concurring in part and dissenting in part.  Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai and O’Rielly issuing statements.