Thursday, March 22, 2012

Timelines, Timelines, Timelines

Timelines are all the rage now days as it pertains to when the Public Safety Broadband Network will be built. I don't think people have realized that others do not have the patience to wait for such timelines. States are eager and ready to go with their deployment plans and are already trying to tie-up the right tactical equipment plan with the OEM's as well as layout project and construction management schedules. If the spectrum is their (10 Mhz already in play), and the additional 10 Mhz will be distributed to the States, then why wait. The main issue surrounds funding and control of standards.

Many States have come to realize over the years that waiting for the funding sources is not really a stopping point. There are those that differ with this opinion but it is safe to say that funding, in the past, has not derailed such desired and required plans for large programs before. It's basically, "build-it and they will come" scenario. In this instance the Federal Government believes that all the States will need their cash in order to make it happen. Not so say I.

The States don't have to rely upon the Federal tax dollars to pay for this build, nor do they have to rely on State tax dollars. As I spoke about in the past the best model that States should look at is the Public-Private-Partnership, or P3 Model.

If you break all the requirements down, all you have in the end is another telecom network. At the State level it is a Tier-2 or Tier-3 size. At the National level you have a Tier-1 (actually probably twice as large as AT&T and Verizon combined). To boot the technology that will be utilized will be the exact same 4G technologies that the carriers use. With that said why would we think that designing, building, maintaing and operating such a platform would be any different than building and operating a commercial network.  Some say its different because of the hardening requirements (backup power, fuel, etc..).

If Hardening is the main issue, because commercial mixing with Public safety is not due to the fact it is a private network, then look at all the entities that will need to ride the network and pick the most demanding hardening requirements and build based on those requirements. For example: if the Police say they need 3 days worth of backup generators and fuel at a cell site, but the Power Utilities say they need 7 days, then build to 7 days. By the way a commercial carrier typically wants 8 hours, but that is the heart of the problem as to why the commercial carriers are not a good fit for the Public Safety Network...that plus the fact there is no money in covering the rural areas.

If it quakes like a duck, looks like a duck, smells like a duck and talks on a phone like a duck...then we need to treat it as a duck.

First step in building a telecommunications carrier network is investors! The P3 is the perfect vehicle to setup this financing; only on this matter the investment opportunities are abound....actually by 50 times. Thats because there is 50 States and all of them will need a similar telecom solution that will make up the Nationwide Public (Private) Safety Network.

Just my two cents!

Dr Mike

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