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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


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update - April 6, 2015

FirstNet News

·         The User Advocacy Team held the Stakeholder Quarterly Webinar Thursday, April 2, which included state and territory Single Points of Contact (SPOCs), Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) members and PSAC Tribal Working Group (TWG) members. The webinar focused on a roadmap update, the Second Notice and a CTO update. Participants included teams from at least 40 states, a dozen PSAC members and five members of the PSAC TWG.  The presentation materials from the meeting are posted on the Resources page.  A blog about the webinar discussion can also be found on our website.

 

·         We are finalizing the agenda for the upcoming 2015 SPOC Meeting in Reston, Virginia April 14-15.  To date, 129 participants from 53 states and territories and seven members of the Tribal Working Group have confirmed their attendance for the meeting.  The meeting format has been designed to allow for significant discussion.  The final agenda and logistical information for the meeting will be distributed to attendees later this week.

 

·         FirstNet posted five regional consultation and outreach positions on FirstNet.USAJobs.Gov last week – Regions 1, 3, 6, 7 and 8, in addition to several other positions.  April 6 marks Steve Noel’s first day as the Region 10 Outreach & Consultation Lead.  As the former Oregon SPOC/Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC), we are excited to have him officially on board.  Steve brings a wealth of experience in public safety communications interoperability and project planning with him. 

 

·         The consultation team conducted the initial consultation meeting with the state of South Dakota on April 1 with more than 55 public safety stakeholders in attendance.  Following the consultation meeting, FirstNet staff met with South Dakota law enforcement officials to further extend outreach and address questions.  FirstNet staff also met on the Pine Ridge Reservation with the attorney general of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and its public safety leadership at the newly constructed Pine Ridge Justice Center Complex on Thursday, April 2.  We have now held 19 consultation meetings.  This week, we’ll be in Missouri on April 7 for their initial consultation meeting.   An updated schedule of consultation meetings planned for 2015 can be viewed at this website link: FirstNet State Consultation Meetings.

 

·         To date, FirstNet has received 50 of 56 completed consultation checklists.  Confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings are: Missouri (4/7), New York (4/20), North Carolina (4/23), South Carolina (4/30), West Virginia (5/5), Arkansas (5/14), Louisiana (5/15), Virgin Islands (5/19), Maine (5/20), Idaho (5/21), 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). 

 

·         This week FirstNet will be participating in the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Webinar.  Additionally, FirstNet will participate in multiple sessions at the APCO International Western Regional Conference in Sacramento, California April 8-9.

From the States and PSAC Associations

·         On April 7-8, FirstNet staff will be in Boulder, Colorado participating in two meetings: the PSAC Public Safety Grade Task Team and the PSAC Priority & Preemption Task Team. 

 

From the Tribal Desk

·         FirstNet attended a tri-state gathering of tribes hosted by the United States Department of Justice and the University of South Dakota in Rapid City to discuss the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) on Tuesday, March 31st.  Numerous conversations arose with federal, tribal, and nonprofit organizations about the implications of FirstNet associated with data sharing and enforcement.

 

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 this week with respect to the suspension of the LA-RICS BTOP project.  FirstNet has been coordinating with NTIA on messaging, including media outreach.  In addition, the FirstNet Communications team has been working to educate media outlets that do not traditionally cover FirstNet about our role in the Early Builders.  This has led to some media outlets updating their stories to be more accurate.

 

Los Angeles officials halt public-safety LTE network, potentially clouding FirstNet's progress
http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/story/los-angeles-officials-halt-public-safety-lte-network-clouding-firstnets-pro/2015-04-02?utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss&utm_campaign=rss
The Los Angeles City Council voted to halt the construction of a massive 700 MHz LTE network that was intended to cover 4,000 square miles and 34,000 law enforcement, fire service and health service workers. The action casts a cloud over FirstNet, which is charged with building a nationwide LTE network for police, firefighters and other emergency responders.   

LA-RICS public-safety LTE project in peril after LA City Council votes to stop construction
http://urgentcomm.com/public-safety-broadbandfirstnet/la-rics-public-safety-lte-project-peril-after-la-city-council-votes-
Los Angeles City Council members yesterday unanimously voted to halt construction of Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) public-safety LTE cell sites in the city—a move that could undermine the largest first-responder broadband project in the country, according to several sources.

Web and Social Media
Social media engagement about FirstNet addressed consultation, LA-RICS, as well as local outreach efforts in the states and territories.  The FirstNet Twitter account has grown to over 1,976 followers; LinkedIn 632; Google+ 33; and YouTube has 97 subscribers.


Wednesday, April 01, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update - March 30, 2015

FirstNet News

·         The FirstNet Board committees met on 3/24 and the Board met on 3/25. Materials from these meetings are now posted on the FirstNet website: http://www.firstnet.gov/content/board-meeting-march-2015. The next Committee and Board meetings will be held on June 2-3 in San Diego, CA, in conjunction with the PSCR conference.

·         FirstNet recently posted an FAQ sheet regarding Use of State and Local Infrastructure, Rural Coverage, “Early Builders” and Pilots on its Resources webpage: http://www.firstnet.gov/sites/default/files/Use%20of%20local-state-infrastructure%20FAQs%20v1_0.pdf

·         The Consultation team conducted an initial consultation meeting with the District of Columbia on 3/26 with more than 45 public safety stakeholders in attendance and discussed the Navy Yard shooting, the inauguration, and the 2011 earthquake as use cases. We have held 18 initial state consultation meetings to date. 

·         Last week, we completed the final four monthly SPOC/SWIC calls with regions 1,2,3 & 10.  Discussions centered around the Second Notice and the agenda for the 2015 SPOC meeting to be held on April 14-15.  To date, 127 participants from 53 states and territories and seven members of the Tribal Working Group have confirmed their attendance for the meeting. 

·         Additionally, FirstNet participated in a National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) webinar discussing the Second Notice and data collection, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) State and Provincial Policing Conference and the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) Expo.

·         Next week, FirstNet will participate in the South Carolina Telecommunications Broadband Association Spring Convention.

·         We held the joint FirstNet/NTIA webinar on 3/23 with 54 states and territories to share final information on data collection elements, priorities and State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) Phase 2.  The data collection workbook was emailed to SPOCs following the webinar.

·         FirstNet publicly announced that the User Advocacy team had filled two regional outreach positions – Region 5 and Region 10.  Tim Pierce, who fills the Region 5 position, was the former State Point of Contact (SPOC)/Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) for Wisconsin.  Tim was on-boarded last week and Steve Noel, former Oregon SPOC/SWIC, will fill the Region 10 position when he officially joins FirstNet next month.  Please find more information on these two hires on the FirstNet Blog: http://firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog/firstnet-builds-regional-coordination-team

·         FirstNet’s Second Notice is in the Federal Register and is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/03/13/2015-05855/further-proposed-interpretations-of-parts-of-the-middle-class-tax-relief-and-job-creation-act-ofWritten comments may be submitted electronically through www.regulations.gov or by mail to the address provided in the notice.  Based on feedback and our desire to hear from key stakeholders the deadline for submitting comments is being extended from April 13, 2015 to April 28, 2015.  The new date is anticipated to be officially published in the Federal Register this week.  We have also posted an FAQ about the Second Notice on our website.

·         FirstNet has received completed consultation checklists from 49 of 56 states and territories.  Confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings are: South Dakota (4/1), Missouri (4/7), New York (4/20), North Carolina (4/23), 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), 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), Pennsylvania (8/4), American Samoa (8/10), Hawaii (8/12), Indiana (8/26) and New Jersey (9/3).

·         The consultation schedule and tracker is on the FirstNet website: http://firstnet.gov/consultation/meetings.

·         The next quarterly SPOC webinar will be held on Thursday, April 2 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time.  This meeting will provide additional focus on the Second Notice.  The link and call in number were sent out on March 16 to update your Outlook calendar appointment.

 

From the States and PSAC Organizations

·         Harlin McEwen had the opportunity to brief the FirstNet Board on PSAC activities during the Board meeting on 3/25.

·         The PSAC priority and preemption task team held a conference call last week and finished its review of the draft usage scenarios. Both the priority and preemption and public safety grade task teams will meet in Boulder, CO on April 7-8.

 

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 of FirstNet by the telecom and public safety trade publications this week, with the Board meeting being the focus.  There was also coverage of the SLIGP Phase 2 announcement.


FirstNet delays draft RFP, cites finance committee questions
http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/story/firstnet-delays-draft-rfp-cites-finance-committee-questions/2015-03-25
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) this week said it would delay the release of a draft RFP due to questions that arose in its finance committee.  On Tuesday, four FirstNet committees met in separate sessions: governance and personnel; technology; outreach; and finance. Board members were expected to approve a complete draft RFP this week, but on Wednesday, the full board met and said it would delay a vote to issue the RFP until a later date.

FirstNet allows more time for public-notice responses, announces plans for Industry Day series

http://urgentcomm.com/ntiafirstnet/firstnet-allows-more-time-public-notice-responses-announces-plans-industry-day-series

FirstNet’s Acting Executive Director TJ Kennedy said the decision was based on input from multiple sources—many of whom spoke with FirstNet officials at IWCE—that indicated the April 13 deadline for responses to the second public notice would create logistical problems for them, particularly if statewide consensus on a position is needed. FirstNet will post a formal announcement of response extension in the Federal Register, Kennedy said.

 

NTIA releases second phase of planning grants as FirstNet identifies data for states to collect
http://urgentcomm.com/ntiafirstnet/ntia-releases-second-phase-planning-grants-firstnet-identifies-data-states-collect
States and territories can use $58 million in planning grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to gather data in their jurisdictions regarding their first responders’ needs for coverage, capacity and other key functionalities from FirstNet’s nationwide public-safety broadband network, NTIA and FirstNet announced this week.  NTIA yesterday announced that it would release the second phase of funding from the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP). The first phase—also totaling about $58 million—was released in 2013 to help states fund outreach initiatives and other efforts to prepare for initial consultations with FirstNet.

Web and Social Media

Social media engagements about FirstNet addressed consultation, the SLIGP grant announcement, the Board Meeting as well as local outreach efforts in the states and territories. Notably, we continue to see many states and territories use social media for outreach.  The FirstNet Twitter account has grown to over 1,934 followers; LinkedIn 622; Google+ 32; and YouTube has 97 subscribers.


Monday, March 23, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update - March 23, 2015

FirstNet News

·      Several members of the FirstNet team attended the 2015 International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) this past week in Las Vegas, Nevada, as did many of the state single points of contact (SPOC) and members of their teams.  The conference was a great opportunity for FirstNet, through 13 FirstNet related sessions, to hear about activities and highlight progress made to the seven-thousand public and private sector attendees.  For more information visit our blog at http://firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog/coordination-and-education-iwce-2015     
 

·         FirstNet held monthly SPOC/Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) calls with all ten regions reaching 83 representatives from 43 states and territories.  The discussion included a high level overview of the second public notice, the March 23rd FirstNet/NTIA webinar, which will cover data collection and SLIGP Phase 2 funding, and the draft agenda for the 2015 SPOC Meeting to be held April 14-15.  In addition to the link to respond to the notice on our website  additional information is available here:   FAQ about the Second Notice     

 

·         NTIA recently released SLIGP metrics and milestones for Q6, quarter ending December 31, 2014, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/sligp_q6_metrics_for_website.pdf 

·         53 states and territories have registered for the 2015 SPOC Meeting in Reston April 14-15.  Following our discussions during the monthly calls, the agenda is nearing finalization.  Members of the PSAC Tribal Working Group will be present for a joint session to discuss effective tribal engagement during this workshop.  The special room rate for the Reston Hyatt  ends today, March 23.

·         This week FirstNet will be participating in the March 24 NASCIO Broadband and Telecommunications Committee Webinar, the March 27 IACP State and Provincial Policing Conference in  Alexandria, VA, and  the March 27 Competitive Carriers Association Expo in Atlanta, GA.

·         The consultation team conducted the 17th initial consultation meeting in Nebraska last week with more than 120 public safety stakeholders on hand, including Nebraska Lt. Gov. Mike Foley.  This week FirstNet staff will conduct the Washington DC initial consultation meeting on March 26.

 

·         To date, FirstNet has received 49 of 56 completed consultation checklists.  Confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings are: Washington DC (3/26), South Dakota (4/1), Missouri (4/7), New York (4/20), North Carolina (4/23), South Carolina (4/30), West Virginia (5/5), Arkansas (5/14), Louisiana (5/15), Virgin Islands (5/19), Maine (5/20), Idaho (5/21), 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 (8/12), Indiana (8/26), and New Jersey (9/3).

 

·         The FirstNet consultation tracker is available via the website link: http://firstnet.gov/consultation/meetings

 

·         This week marks the next set of FirstNet Board and Committee meetings. On March 24, 2015 there will be sequential meetings between 9:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time of FirstNet's four Board Committees: (1) Governance and Personnel; (2) Technology; (3) Outreach; and (4) Finance.  The full FirstNet Board will hold a meeting on March 25, 2015 between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.   All meetings will be held at the Department of Commerce headquarters building in Washington, DC, as well as being webcast.  Additional information is available at this link: FirstNet Board

·         The next quarterly SPOC webinar will be held on Thursday, April 2 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time.  This webinar, which will also include the Public Safety Advisory Committee and Tribal Working Group (TWG) members, will focus on follow up from the March Board meetings.  The link and call in number should be on your Outlook calendar now.

·         Today, Tim Pierce begins with FirstNet as the Region 5 Lead.  In this capacity, Tim will serve as FirstNet’s single point of contact to and lead FirstNet’s outreach and consultation activities with the public safety community in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  Tim comes from the state of Wisconsin where he was the SPOC and SWIC.  He has also served as a Communications Unit Leader (COML) with the Wisconsin Statewide Incident Management Team as well as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT).

·         The next monthly TWG teleconference will be held on Tuesday, April 7 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT.  To be discussed will be the April 1 South Dakota state consultation and April 14-15 2015 National SPOC Meeting in Reston, VA.

·         Chris Eck, FirstNet Federal Preservation Officer (FPO), is endeavoring to attend the To Bridge a Gap Meeting, this year being hosted by the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.  This annual event is an official government-to-government interaction between the Forest Service and tribal nations.

From the States and PSAC Organizations

 

·            PSAC member Charlie Sasser presented on FirstNet, the PSAC and SAFECOM (view the SAFECOM in 100 seconds video) at the National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD) southern region meeting on March 10. Meeting attendees included state information technology directors and technology hardware, software and services vendors from Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

 

 

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
Media coverage was heavy this past week, with several trade publications covering the IWCE conference (TRDaily, Mission Critical, Urgent Communications, RCR Wireless).  There were also local stories related to our consultation efforts in the states and territories.


IWCE 2015: Lessons learned from FirstNet early builders
http://www.rcrwireless.com/20150320/network-infrastructure/lte/iwce-2015-lessons-learned-from-firstnet-early-builders-tag6
The early pioneers in public safety LTE broadband shared some of their experiences in a panel discussion at IWCE 2015, and some of their pain points – probably unsurprisingly – sounded like those of commercial mobile operators, including opposition to tower siting impacting deployment timelines and anxiety from some first responders about exposure to radio frequencies from new sites.

Local officials briefed about FirstNet
http://www.leavenworthtimes.com/article/20150319/NEWS/150319251
After a major disaster, cellphone networks can become overloaded. And this can pose a problem for emergency responders who use these systems. That's why there is an effort to create a nationwide wireless broadband network exclusively for public safety personnel, according to Derek Voorhis, public safety broadband outreach coordinator for the state of Kansas.

State looks to FirstNet to build, operate network committed to public safety
http://www.kearneyhub.com/news/local/state-looks-to-firstnet-to-build-operate-network-committed-to/article_2b1c1f6a-ce57-11e4-8771-e766f234d962.html
Nebraska Lt. Gov. Mike Foley spoke to many of the state’s emergency responders during the first FirstNet public safety network consultation meeting Wednesday in Kearney. As an initiative from the federal government, FirstNet’s mission is to build, operate and maintain the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety, according to its website. About 100 public safety officials from across the state met with representatives from FirstNet Wednesday and today to discuss issues facing their departments, particularly in communication.

Web and Social Media
Social media discussions about FirstNet focused on IWCE and consultation, as well as local outreach efforts in the states and territories. We posted a blog about the IWCE keynote presentation which included video highlights from the presentation: 
http://firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog/coordination-and-education-iwce-2015 . In addition, our  blog on the Identity, Credential, & Access Management (ICAM) report was popular over social media and cited in some news articles, including this Fierce Mobile Government report: http://www.fiercemobilegovernment.com/story/authorized-access-firstnet-communications-network-devices-key-during-develo/2015-03-18 ;  The FirstNet Twitter account has grown to over 1,909 followers; LinkedIn 603; Google+ 30; and YouTube has 95 subscribers.