InterOp  

Need Help getting a local interopability project going? Ask the
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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

WISCOM Procedure - Effective May 4, 2015

The final version of the WISCOM Procedure explaining the use of the Regional and Statewide interoperability talkgroups has been published. It can be found here.

This procedure has been in development for an extended period of time and was recently reviewed by numerous individuals with a vast amount of experience in interoperable communications.

Any questions or comments should be directed to: DOJInteroperability@doj.state.wi.us

 


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update - May 4, 2015

FirstNet News

·         Webinars have been scheduled for 5/6 and 5/8 to recap the April 24 Special Board Meeting, which focused on an overview of the Special Notice and draft RFP documents, for our key public safety stakeholders.  The April 24 Board documents are available on the FirstNet website.

·         FirstNet will be hosting an Industry Day 5/14, which is open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Pre-registration is required to attend the event in person, and FirstNet requests that you limit in person attendance to one individual per state/territory or organization, as space will be limited. If you are planning to attend onsite, please register by sending an email to FirstNetIndustryDay@firstnet.gov with the name, title, and company/organization for each attendee. FirstNet will webcast the Industry Day on its website. Pre-registration is not required for the webcast. For questions about Industry Day, please contact FirstNetIndustryDay@firstnet.gov. More information is available on the updated Doing Business with FirstNet webpage and in our recent press release at: http://www.firstnet.gov/news/firstnet-hold-industry-day-may-14-will-begin-accepting-requests-one-one-meetings-may-15

·         We held a consultation meeting last week in South Carolina with 49 state and local attendees.  This week there are two consultation meetings scheduled in West Virginia and Rhode Island.  We have held 23 consultation meetings involving more than 1,500 state, tribal, and local representatives.  Overall, we have connected with more than 15,000 public safety and private sector stakeholders through 175 outreach and consultation engagements in fiscal year 2015 to date.

·         The pre-publication version of the Third Notice is available on the FirstNet website and on the Federal Register website. It is scheduled to be published on 5/5. This Third Notice responds to comments and further clarifies proposed interpretations related to the definition and scope of the term “public safety entity” as used in FirstNet’s enabling legislation and as discussed in the First Notice.  Comments in response to this Third Notice will be due 30 days after it’s published; an FAQ on the Third Notice is available here:  http://firstnet.gov/resources.

·         The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report on FirstNet. The FirstNet response may be found in Appendix IV on pages 65-66 of the report.

·         Last week, FirstNet participated in the Government Information Technology Executive Council (GITEC) Summit, the 2015 Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System Conference, the Minnesota Public Safety Interoperable Communications Conference, the California USDA Rural Development Grant Managers Conference, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Fly-In, the 2015 Wireless Infrastructure Show, the Canada-United States Communications Interoperability Working Group (CANUS CIWG) meeting and the Metro Fire Chiefs Conference.

·         This week, FirstNet will be participating in APCO's Annual Public Safety Broadband Summit & Expo, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Tribal Telecom, LLC 4th Annual Tribal Telecom and Technology Conference, the Wisconsin Wireless Association, the FirstNet Association DC-Based Staff Briefing and the Emergency Communications Preparedness Center Executive Committee meeting.

·         To date, FirstNet has received 50 of 56 completed consultation checklists. Confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings are: West Virginia (5/5), Rhode Island (5/6), Louisiana (5/13), Arkansas (5/14), Virgin Islands (5/19), Maine (5/20), Idaho (5/21), Connecticut (5/27), New Hampshire (6/9), New Mexico (6/10), Ohio (6/11), Vermont (6/16), Kansas (6/17), Wisconsin (6/18), Illinois (7/14), Alabama (7/15), Georgia (7/21), California (7/28-29), Tennessee (7/23), Pennsylvania (8/4), Hawaii (8/11-12), American Samoa (8/13-14), Indiana (8/26), Michigan (9/1) and New Jersey (9/3).  An updated schedule can be viewed on the website tracker

 

News from the Public Safety Advisory Committee’s Tribal Working Group (TWG)

·         The TWG has a conference call scheduled for 5/5.

 

News from the States and PSAC Associations

·         A FirstNet briefing for Washington DC-based staff representatives of the public safety and state/local/tribal associations is 5/7; this is a follow up to an earlier briefing held in September 2014.  Currently we have 35 representatives attending from 26 organizations.

 

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 week saw a large volume of media reports about FirstNet activities, including recap of the Board meeting, release of the Special Notice/Draft RFP documents, the NASCIO fly-in event, GAO report findings, and the Industry Day announcement. Going forward, we anticipate additional reports on the Second Notice comments, as well as NTIA’s decision to restart the LA-RICS project under the revised plan.

 

TR Daily: FirstNet to hold Industry Day May 14

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) today announced that it plans to hold an Industry Day May 14 to discuss its recently released special notice and request for proposals (RFP) (TRDaily, April 27). The event will be held from 1-4 p.m. in the Dallas L. Peck Memorial Auditorium at the U.S. Geological Survey building in Reston, Va., which is where FirstNet is based. The Industry Day will also be webcast. “This is a key opportunity for members of the public safety community, the vendor community, and the public to engage in a dialogue with FirstNet about our proposed acquisition approach to deploy the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN),” said FirstNet acting Executive Director TJ Kennedy. “We encourage local, state, tribal, and federal agencies, market participants, and the public to participate in this event and in future opportunities to provide direct feedback to FirstNet on acquisition matters affecting the NPSBN.” FirstNet also announced today that will begin on May 15 accepting requests for meetings with vendors.

 

GovTech: State CIOs Seek Help on Cyber, Answers on FirstNet

http://www.govtech.com/state/State-CIOs-Seek-Help-on-Cyber-Answers-on-FirstNet.html State CIOs hope to secure more federal support for cybersecurity efforts, more details about FirstNet and more options for broadband grants as they meet with officials in Washington, D.C., this week.  Multiple state CIOs are meeting with officials from the White House, federal agencies and Congress Wednesday as part of the NASCIO Midyear Conference to focus attention on state-level IT issues and press for policy changes.

 

GCN: FirstNet releases draft RFP

http://gcn.com/articles/2015/04/29/firstnet-draft-rfp.aspx

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board released a draft RFP for the construction, operation, maintenance and improvement of the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) for local, state, regional, tribal and federal first responders. To date, FirstNet has published 13 RFIs and held multiple meetings with vendor meetings and state officials to determine how to best leverage existing capabilities and best practices to meet the needs of a nationwide public safety network. With this draft RFP, it is seeking comments on all aspects of the acquisition strategy/approaches, including the proposed pricing concepts and operational architecture principles.

 

Fierce Wireless: Regional carriers urge FirstNet to 'maximize interoperability'

http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/story/regional-carriers-urge-firstnet-maximize-interoperability/2015-04-29?utm_campaign=SocialMedia
The Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) wants the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to adopt technical requirements for the National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) that maximize interoperability of the network. The CCA made its stance known when it filed its comments with FirstNet earlier this week. CCA also is urging FirstNet to provide states the opportunity to evaluate detailed FirstNet plan information in the opt-out process and to clarify key concepts set out in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, FirstNet's enabling legislation.

 

Web and Social Media
The Special Notice and Draft RFP documents received considerable attention over social media, as did the CIO meeting.  The FirstNet Twitter account has grown to over 2,130 followers; LinkedIn 686; Google+ 40; and YouTube has 106 subscribers.  FirstNet blogs are available at:
http://www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update-April 27,2015

FirstNet News

 

·         The FirstNet Board met on April 24 in a public meeting in order to review recommendations for releasing draft acquisition related documents as well as an additional notice for public comment.  You can find all documents from the April 24 FirstNet Board Special Meeting here:  http://firstnet.gov/content/firstnet-board-special-meeting-april-24-2015

 

·         Following Board decisions made at the April 24 meeting, a Special Notice with draft RFP documents was released today with responses due no later than 12:00 PM Eastern Time on July 27, 2015.  The documents are available on the Federal Register at https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=55fa4d3227d5ac0173e4613e04368c86

 

·         FirstNet also posted a pre-publication version of the Third Notice on its website on April 24.  This Third Notice responds to comments and further clarifies proposed interpretations related to the definition and scope of the term “public safety entity” as used in FirstNet’s enabling legislation and as discussed in the First Notice.  Comments for this Third Notice will be due 30 days after it’s published in the Federal Register. A FAQ on the Third Notice is available here:  http://firstnet.gov/resources

 

·         Last week, FirstNet participated in the National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO) Spring Meeting in San Antonio, Texas and the Virginia State Sheriffs Association (VSA) Annual Meeting in Roanoke, Virginia on April 23.  Prior to the VSA meeting, FirstNet staff visited the Roanoke Emergency Communications Center. Staff observed Roanoke's operations, and participated in a tour and discussions with EOC personnel.

 

·         This week on April 27, FirstNet will be at the 2015 Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System Conference in Springfield, Illinois.  On April 28, FirstNet will be participating in the Government Information Technology Executive Council (GITEC) Summit in Baltimore, Maryland, the 2015 Wireless Infrastructure Show in Hollywood, Florida, the Minnesota Public Safety Interoperable Communications Conference in St. Paul, and the California USDA Rural Development Grant Managers Conference.  On April 29, FirstNet will be at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Fly-In in Alexandria, Virginia. On May 1, FirstNet is attending the Canada – United States Communications Interoperability Working Group (CANUS CIWG) in Washington, DC.  We finish up the week on May 2 at the Metro Fire Chiefs Association Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

·         The FirstNet User Advocacy team held initial consultation meetings last week in New York (44 state and local attendees representing all of the disciplines) and North Carolina (89 state and local attendees representing all of the disciplines).  We are looking forward to the initial consultation meeting in South Carolina on April 30.  We have held 22 consultation meetings involving more than 1,500 state, tribal, and local representatives.  Overall, we have connected with more than 13,000 public safety and private sector stakeholders through 150 outreach and consultation engagements in fiscal year 2015 to date.

 

·         Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.To date, FirstNet has received 50 of 56 completed consultation checklists.  Confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings are: South Carolina (4/30), West Virginia (5/5), Rhode Island (5/6), Louisiana (5/13), Arkansas (5/14), Virgin Islands (5/19), Maine (5/20), Idaho (5/21), Connecticut (5/27), New Hampshire (6/9), New Mexico (6/10), Ohio (6/11), Vermont (6/16), Kansas (6/17), Wisconsin (6/18), Illinois (7/14), Alabama (7/15), Georgia (7/21), California (7/28-29), Tennessee (7/23), Pennsylvania (8/4), Hawaii (8/11-12), American Samoa (8/13-14), Indiana (8/26), Michigan (9/1) and New Jersey (9/3).  An updated schedule can be viewed on the website tracker

 

News from the Public Safety Advisory Committee’s Tribal Working Group (TWG)

·         Tribal Outreach Branch Chief Carl Rebstock accompanied P. Allan Sadowski, the North Carolina state SPOC and Wesley King, Director of Communications for the state team, to meet with staff and members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) at their emergency operations center, named in honor of N.C. State Highway Patrol Trooper David Shawn Blanton, Jr., an EBCI tribal member shot in the line of duty during a routine traffic stop in June 2008.

 

News from the States and PSAC Associations

·         The Texas Emergency Management Conference that will be held on May 12-15 in San Antonio at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center will showcase the Harris County/State of Texas Early Builder Project BIGNet including demonstrations of the mobile eNodeB.  FirstNet staff members Brian Kassa, Brian Hobson, and Carl Rebstock will be featured speakers in several sessions along with Texas SPOC Todd Early.  Register at: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/dem/conference/txEmerMgmtConf.htm

·         A briefing for Washington DC-based staff representatives of the public safety and state/local/tribal associations will be held on May 7; this is a follow up to an earlier briefing held in September 2014.  Currently we have 34 reps attending from 24 organizations.

 

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
The LA-RICS BTOP project continues to receive coverage in the telecom and public safety trade press.  This included an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal titled, “This Is the Last Thing First Responders Need”
http://www.wsj.com/articles/this-is-the-last-thing-first-responders-need-1429574851.  

 

FirstNet Authorizes Release of Draft RFP, Approves Third Public Notice

http://mccmag.com/newsArticle.cfm?news_id=11996

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board authorized the release of a special notice requesting feedback on draft request for proposals (RFP) documents. The documents will be available April 27 after being delayed at the board’s March meeting.

 

TR Daily: Expressions of Interest Sought for FirstNet Board

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is seeking expressions of interest from individuals who want to serve on the board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). The appointments of four of the board members expire in August. Expressions of interest are due May 15.

 

Urgent Communications: Go, or No Go? New LA-RICS Public-safety LTE plan Gives NTIA, FirstNet a Lot to Consider

http://urgentcomm.com/blog/go-or-no-go-new-la-rics-public-safety-lte-plan-gives-ntia-firstnet-lot-consider

There has been no decision yet from NTIA about the fate of the LA-RICS public-safety LTE project. That's understandable, because there are a lot of factors to consider…For those not familiar with the LA-RICS project, here’s some background: NTIA administers the $154.6 million federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant that is funding most of the proposed LTE network. NTIA also is the umbrella organization within the U.S. Department of Commerce that houses FirstNet, which expects to integrate early-builder networks like LA-RICS into its nationwide broadband network. During the past several months, multiple smaller cities in the Los Angeles area pulled out of the LA-RICS regional project, reducing the number of sites in the LTE network design from 231 to 177. In late March, Los Angeles County halted construction of LTE sites on county-owned property for two weeks, and the city made an even stronger statement the following week. In the wake of these actions, NTIA suspended project construction on April 3, directed LA-RICS to submit a new plan within 10 days and stipulated that the city, county, NTIA and FirstNet all needed to agree to it before it would lift the suspension.

 

RCR Wireless: LIS2015: Keeping up with the Evolution of LTE

http://www.rcrwireless.com/20150423/test-and-measurement/lis2015-keeping-up-with-lte-evolution-tag6

The continued evolution of LTE is providing fertile ground for the testing industry, and features including carrier aggregation and Voice over LTE were the focus of the first day of this week’s LTE Innovation Summit…The summit tackled a number of other LTE-related topics, including: LTE for public safety and the FirstNet national-network-to-be also came under discussion, from device requirements and the issues of dealing with a limited market with very specific, ruggedized needs described by Jim Harper of Elektrobit, to testing done by P3 Communications on live Band 14 sites on the JerseyNet network in New Jersey – one of the a handful of pilot projects that have been experimenting with LTE for public safety under the auspices of FirstNet.

 

Web and Social Media
Consultation and outreach, as well as the Special Board Meeting were the main topics of discussion about FirstNet over social media.  The Wall Street Journal piece received attention the day it was published, with some public safety stakeholders being critical of the story on social media.  The FirstNet Twitter account has grown to over 2,098 followers; LinkedIn 676; Google+ 40; and YouTube has 105 subscribers.  Blogs this week included a recap of the DC Consultation, a blog on public safety applications, and a post about the government of Canada allocating an additional 10 MHz of broadband spectrum to public safety communications.  You can access all of the FirstNet blogs at:
http://www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update - April 20, 2015

FirstNet News

·         FirstNet would like to thank the more than 125 representatives of  SPOCs and SPOC team members from the 52 states and territories and the members of  the Public Safety Advisory Committee  Tribal Working Group that attended the two-day 2015 SPOC Meeting in Reston, Virginia. We appreciate the time you took form your busy schedules and hope that the topics and in-depth discussions were of value to you.  Feedback to date has been extremely positive and we are considering holding another in-person meeting with the SPOCs later this year. The materials for the meeting were sent out by Amanda Hilliard Friday via secure file transfer. Please let us know if you were unable to receive them.  A meeting summary will be distributed in the coming weeks.

·         In conjunction with the 2015 SPOC Meeting, FirstNet staff held an in person session with 25 state and territory attendees on April 13 at FirstNet Headquarters. The session focused on the potential involvement of public safety stakeholders in FirstNet’s evaluation of network proposals, as previously requested by a number of SPOCs.  FirstNet will continue this dialogue with the SPOCs in greater detail through regional calls and consultation activities.

 

·         The FirstNet Board will be holding a special meeting this Friday, April 24, 2015 via conference call.  More details will be provided this week, including an agenda and the dial-in information.   During the special meeting, the Board is expected to consider a proposed acquisition approach for the NPSBN, including a Special Notice with Draft RFP documents.  The Board also plans to discuss a Third Public Notice on the definition of public safety entity.  We hope you will be able to participate in the special meeting.

 

·         Last week, FirstNet participated in a panel during the 2015 Broadband Communities Summit in Austin, Texas, the Wildland Fire Managers Meeting in Boise, Idaho, the Congressional Fire Services Institute Seminars Day in Washington DC, the National Volunteer Fire Council Board Meeting in Alexandria, Virginia, and the Telecommunications Industry Association 16th Annual Spring Policy Summit in Chesapeake, Maryland. This week FirstNet will be attending the National Association of State Emergency Medical Services Officials (NASEMSO) Board and Mid Year meetings in San Antonio Texas, April 20-21, as well as the Virginia State Sheriffs Association Annual Meeting in Roanoke, Virginia on April 23.

·         Upcoming meetings of note:  June 1, 2015 - FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC)  in person meeting.  The afternoon session will be open to the public.  June 2 – FirstNet Board Committee meetings.  June 3 – FirstNet Board meeting.   The FirstNet Board meetings will be open to the public.  June 3 – 5 – 2015 Public Safety Communications Research Labs (PSCR)  Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder  Meeting.  Sessions begin immediately following the FirstNet Board meeting and continue through Friday.  All meetings are being held at the San Diego Omni Hotel.  For additional information,  check the PSCR meeting link.

 

·         Two consultation meetings are scheduled for this week in New York and North Carolina.  We have now held 20 consultation meetings involving more than 1,300 state and local participants.  An updated schedule can be viewed on the website tracker

 

·         To date, FirstNet has received 50 of 56 completed consultation checklists.  Confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings are: New York (4/20), North Carolina (4/23), South Carolina (4/30), West Virginia (5/5), Louisiana (5/13), Arkansas (5/14), Virgin Islands (5/19), Maine (5/20), Idaho (5/21), Connecticut (5/27), New Hampshire (6/9), New Mexico (6/10), Ohio (6/11), Vermont (6/16), Kansas (6/17), Wisconsin (6/18), California (6/23-25), Illinois (7/14), Alabama (7/15), Georgia (7/21), Tennessee (7/23)Pennsylvania (8/4), Hawaii (8 /11-12), American Samoa (8/13-14), Indiana (8/26), and New Jersey (9/3). 

 

News from the States and PSAC Associations

 

·         In support of the data collection efforts for FirstNet acquisition and State Plan efforts, multiple states, including Idaho and Oregon, are planning on using the recently updated Department of Homeland Security/Office of Emergency Communications, Mobile Data Survey Tool (MDST).  Additionally, the state of Washington is using the Survey Monkey vehicle with the help of Washington State University for the same purpose.

 

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
The latest developments with the LA-RICS BTOP project received significant coverage in the telecom and public safety trade press.  The SPOC meeting also generated some coverage.  Even though the meeting was closed to the press, we held a press availability after it to recap the meeting and answer reporters’ questions about the meeting.  An analyst report about American Tower drew coverage for predicting Verizon would be the front runner to partner with FirstNet to deploy the NPSBN.

 

FirstNet Holds 2-Day Meeting for SPOCs
http://www.rrmediagroup.com/newsArticle.cfm?news_id=11959
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) held a two-day national meeting for state single points of contacts (SPOCs) in Reston, Virginia. The first in-person SPOC meeting drew 125 representatives from more than 50 states and territories.  FirstNet board members Kevin McGinnis and James Douglas attended the meeting and gave presentations. Douglas, former governor of Vermont, offered advice on working with governors.

 

Urgent Communications: FirstNet Conducts Initial In-person Meeting with Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) from States, Territories

http://urgentcomm.com/ntiafirstnet/firstnet-conducts-initial-person-meeting-single-points-contact-spocs-states-territories

FirstNet conducts its first in-person meeting with the single points of contact (SPOCs) from throughout the nation, and the feedback was great enough that another such event could be planned for the latter part of this year, according to FirstNet Acting Executive Director TJ Kennedy.

 

The Chief Seattle Geek Blog: Impressions from the SPOCs meeting in Reston Virginia.  https://schrier.wordpress.com/2015/04/19/live-long-and-prosper-impressions-from-the-spocs-meeting/#comments .  The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) conducted its first-ever meeting of “state points of contact” or SPOCs (pronounced like “Mr. Spock”) in Reston, Virginia, this past week.  Bill Schrier, the state of Washington’s SPOC, shares his impressions.

 

Radio Resource: LA-RICS Releases New Plan for Public-Safety LTE Network, NTIA Review

http://www.rrmediagroup.com/newsArticle.cfm?news_id=11939

The Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) released a response to corrective action plan (CAP) to attempt to have its grant funding reinstated after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) suspended its $154.6 million Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant last week…The NTIA deadline for a revised plan was April 13. It was unclear at press time when NTIA might consider the plan and/or reinstate funding in concert with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). "We received LA-RICS' revised plan late yesterday and are currently reviewing it in consultation with FirstNet," said an NTIA spokesperson.

 

Analysts: Verizon's prospects for winning FirstNet project increasing

http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/story/analysts-verizons-prospects-winning-firstnet-project-increasing/2015-04-16

In a report reviewing American Tower's prospects for improving its tower business, analysts at Macquarie Research say they are increasingly of the view that Verizon (NYSE: VZ) could win the FirstNet public-safety-network project.  "We are increasingly of the view that VZ could win this project and that this could alleviate our concerns over the lack of a natural second tenant on the newly acquired VZ sites," write analysts Kevin Smithen and Will Clayton of Macquarie Research in an April 15 note for investors.

 

Web and Social Media
The SPOC meeting was the main topic of discussion about FirstNet over social media, with a number of states active being on Twitter before, during, and after the meeting.  The FirstNet Twitter account has grown to over 2,050 followers; LinkedIn 665; Google+ 36; and YouTube has 102 subscribers.  Blogs this week included National Telecommunicators Week, an overview of NIST’s report on identity management for the NPSBN and a recap of the SPOC meeting.  You can access all of the FirstNet blogs at:
http://www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update-April 13, 2015

FirstNet News

·      The agenda for the 2015 SPOC Meeting in Reston, April 14-15, has been finalized, designed to allow for significant discussion.  132 representatives from 53 states and territories and eight Tribal Working Group members have confirmed attendance, along with Board Members Douglas and McGinnis. 

·         This week FirstNet will also be participating in the Broadband Communities Summit in Austin, Texas, several meetings and events with the Congressional Fire Services Institute in Washington DC, the National Volunteer Fire Council Board meeting in Alexandria, Virginia, and the National Wildfire Coordinating Group in Boise, Idaho.  We will finish the week with the Telecommunications Industry Association 16th Annual Spring Policy Summit in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.

·      Last week, FirstNet presented during the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Webinar, and was in Boulder, Colorado for two days of workshops with the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) Task Team on priority and pre-emption and public safety grade. 

·      Members of the User Advocacy Team, including Board Vice Chair Johnson, participated in the APCO Western Regional Conference sessions in Sacramento.  Chief Johnson kicked off the conference with a keynote address. The conference included four additional FirstNet sessions that covered a FirstNet update, best practices and lessons being learned in outreach and consultation, a technical session on the unique features of the nationwide public safety broadband network and finally, a discussion about planning for FirstNet and Next Generation 9-1-1.

·      We conducted the initial consultation meeting with Missouri on Wednesday, April 7 with more than 45 public safety stakeholders in attendance.  We have now held 20 consultation meetings involving more than 1,300 participants from the states and territory.  An updated schedule can be viewed on the website tracker

·      To date, FirstNet has received 50 of 56 completed consultation checklists.  Confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings are: New York (4/20), North Carolina (4/23), South Carolina (4/30), West Virginia (5/5), Louisiana (5/13), Arkansas (5/14), Virgin Islands (5/19), Maine (5/20), Idaho (5/21), Connecticut (5/27), New Hampshire (6/9), New Mexico (6/10), Ohio (6/11), Vermont (6/16), Kansas (6/17), Wisconsin (6/18), California (6/23-25), Illinois (7/14), Alabama (7/15), Georgia (7/21), Tennessee (7/23)Pennsylvania (8/4), Hawaii (8/11-12), American Samoa (8/13-14), Indiana (8/26), and New Jersey (9/3). 

 

News from the States and PSAC Associations

·      The PSAC Priority and Preemption and Public Safety Grade task teams met April 7-8 in Boulder, CO. Discussion items and next steps from those meetings will be reviewed in some of the breakout sessions during this week’s SPOC meeting.

·      The next association DC-based staff briefing on FirstNet will be held May 7 in Washington, DC.

·      FirstNet Board Vice Chair Jeff Johnson spoke at the April 8 California Office of Emergency Services - (CalOES) meeting, held in conjunction with the Western Regional APCO Conference. 

·      The state of Iowa recently launched their new website with a great graphic of their outreach progress.  Check it out at:  https://isicsb.iowa.gov/firstnet-outreach

 

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
There was significant media coverage again this week with respect to the suspension of the LA-RICS BTOP project.  FirstNet has continued to coordinate with NTIA on messaging, including media outreach.  In addition, the FirstNet Communications team has been reaching out to several media outlets to conduct one-on-one outreach calls, which are having an impact on the accuracy of several recent stories while amplifying the FirstNet message.  Other articles featuring FirstNet touched on the second public notice and FirstNet Outreach.

 

Cal OES: Cal OES Holds First Board Meeting of the Year for First Net at the APCO Western Regional Conference

https://caloesnewsroom.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/cal-oes-holds-first-board-meeting-of-the-year-for-first-net-at-the-apco-national-conference/

Providing emergency responders in California with the first nationwide, high-speed, wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. Leading California’s public safety community is the California Governors Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), Public Safety Communications for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) and First Responder Network Authority.

Mission Critical Magazine: FirstNet Release Second Public Notice Focusing on Opt-Out Issues

http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/MissionCritical/Default.aspx?href=MCR%2F2015%2F04%2F01&pageno=12&view=document

The First Responder Network Authority (žFirstNet) board approved for release a second public notice seeking comment on interpretations of žFirstNetž’žs enabling legislation if a state or territory opts out of having žFirstNet deploy the state’s radio access network (RAN). FirstNet Chair Sue Swenson said the public notice is necessary to determine how to maintain a balance of deploying a nationwide network while providing states with the option to take responsibility for their RANs.  “Consultation on the complex issues in this second notice, combined with upcoming opportunities to receive feedback on the request for proposals (RFP) itself and our ongoing state and local consultations nationwide, create fundamental building blocks for our approach,” she said.


Comms Daily: LA-RICS Problems Seen as Having Only Limited Implications for FirstNet Build
April 8, 2015
Problems encountered in California, which halted the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System Authority’s (LA-RICS) buildout of its network for first responders, likely don’t presage difficulties elsewhere, public safety officials said Tuesday. Public safety officials said as much as anything, construction was stopped because of a dispute between the unions that represents police and firefighters and management.

The L.A. City Council and L.A. County Board voted to halt construction of portions of the network, and NTIA said Friday it's halting early buildout funding for the network (see 1504030061). In an effort to cut costs, LA-RICS had been placing tower facilities at police and fire stations, which the unions criticized, alleging potential health consequences tied to radio-frequency exposure.

The root problem has nothing to do with safety, said a public safety official familiar with the issue. The fire union has been trying to get a contract for years without success and “threatened to waylay the whole LA-RICS project if they didn’t get a contract and that’s what they’ve done,” the official said. The discussion about RF emissions and safety is “bullshit,” the official said. The amount of emissions from the sites is less than what’s transmitted by a baby monitor, the official said.

Other public safety officials said they also have been told the labor dispute has caused problems for LA-RICS. But these officials said there are other lessons from LA-RICS’s experiences.

Andrew Seybold, a public safety consultant, said broader union issues aside, the problems that LA-RICS faced show the importance of doing outreach well ahead of installing any wireless facilities. “When LA-RICS showed up with the crew to install the towers, it was a complete surprise,” he said. “All of this could have been prevented if the LA-RICS folks had done what the carriers have been doing for a long time, proactively working with neighbors, schools, and officials on siting requests and getting in front of the issues.” The wireless carriers have always worked hard on outreach, Seybold said. “I think it’s lessons learned.” Seybold said that to the extent FirstNet is built in cooperation with the carriers, at existing cell sites, “it becomes a non-issue at that point.”

The difficulties facing LA-RICS likely don’t have significant implications for FirstNet’s nationwide deployment, said Bill Schrier, former chief technology officer of Seattle. “FirstNet, at this point, plans to build very few cell sites -- it intends to use as many commercial, not local-and-state government-owned, sites as possible,” Schrier said. The RF emissions issue is a “red herring,” Schrier said. “The matter has been investigated by a number of health authorities and the FCC. There is no validity to the claim.”

Jamie Barnett, lawyer at Venable and former chief of the FCC Public Safety Bureau, said some problems that cropped up in Los Angeles are healthy for the process of building FirstNet. “One of the purposes for the early deployments was to draw out the problems, work with them, deal with them, so that the nationwide launch could go that much smoother,” he said. But the bad part is that the work stoppage endangers funding and the network needs as much funding as possible, he said: “Stopping the work means we won’t learn other things as well.”

Barnett noted that outside of the public safety arena, RF issues always loom large on tower projects. But FCC rules don’t allow the use of RF issues as a reason for a local government's blocking construction of a project, he noted. Carrier involvement in FirstNet construction could help, he said. Carriers know all the public relations issues and “they’ve dealt with them for years and years,” he said.

L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe, meanwhile, disputed fire and police unions’ claims that the LA-RICS towers present a potential health hazard to public safety officers. “Until the unions got involved, this wasn’t much of an issue,” he said in an interview. “I think the scientific evidence on this is pretty clear that it’s safer than a cellphone or a laptop sitting on your lap. And those are all really safe.” The International Association of Firefighters Local 1014, which initially raised concerns about the exposure issue, said it continues believe the towers would be a health risk to its members, with RF emissions presenting the potential to cause cancer, headaches, infertility, reduced memory function and sleep disorders.

Federal agencies and health organizations dispute the International Association of Firefighters Local 1014 claims. The FCC has said RF emissions from cell towers result in exposure levels at ground level that are thousands of times below federal safety limits, while federal agencies that classify cancer-causing agents haven’t classified towers as a potential cause of cancer, the American Cancer Society said in a statement. The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement that “from all evidence accumulated so far, no adverse short- or long-term health effects have been shown to occur from the RF signals produced by base stations. Since wireless networks produce generally lower RF signals than base stations, no adverse health effects are expected from exposure to them.” A CTIA spokeswoman cited the FCC and WHO policy statements, saying the association and wireless industry “have always been guided by science, and the views of expert organizations.”

The real problem is the siting of the towers at fire stations in residential areas, Knabe said. “That’s the issue we really need to work on, to see if we can put a system together that doesn’t involve those particular stations.” Knabe said he's optimistic the L.A. county and city governments can reach agreement with LA-RICS on a revised plan by the April 13 deadline. Knabe noted that he and the rest of the county Board of Supervisors will be part of an area delegation that will visit members of Congress in Washington, D.C., later this month to seek an extension of the Sept. 30 deadline for using NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grants for the project. The group may also meet with NTIA officials, Knabe said.  FirstNet offers on its website a document answering basic questions about early builder networks like LA-RICS.

Web and Social Media
Social media engagement about FirstNet addressed LA-RICS, APCO Western Regional, as well as local outreach efforts in the states and territories.  The FirstNet Twitter account has grown to over 2,010 followers; LinkedIn 647; Google+ 35; and YouTube has 98 subscribers.  The team posted two new videos this week, including one on FirstNet Consultation and Outreach – which features several state SPOCs, Harlin McEwen from the PSAC, and Vice Chair Johnson. You can watch that video as well as other FirstNet videos on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/FirstNetGov/videos. Blogs this week included a recap of the Nebraska consultation, a recap of the April 2015 FirstNet Stakeholder Quarterly Webinar, and a full recap of FirstNet presentations at the IWCE 2015 conference. You can access all of the FirstNet blogs at: http://www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog