Leveraging Existing Infrastructure
- How should States and local jurisdictions best leverage their existing infrastructure assets and resources for use and integration with the nationwide public safety broadband network?
Response: Through a Public Private Partnership maintained at the State level and supported at the FirstNet level will insure the solid future investment into standing long term contracts. As part of those Public Private Partnerships will be the inclusion of State entities that all have telecommunication assets that may help in the deployment and build out of the broadband plan, therefor it is highly recommended that all State entities tied to Public Safety be included in the overall plan. You should note that some of these entities are actually multi-state in nature and thus could further simplify the process of integration and interoperability between States and regions.
- How should States and local jurisdictions plan to use and/or determine the suitability of their existing infrastructure and equipment for integration into the public safety broadband network?
Response: Each State has multiple entities that require broadband technologies. As with any Public Private Partnership the ability to save costs by utilizing existing resources and assets to offset costs allows for a more efficient business model. Through a process of inventory controls an audit should be conducted. Once the audit has been completed then an asset inventory, or database, of all existing infrastructure and resources can be administer through the State project office for the inclusion into the design and deployment phase. Such infrastructure inclusion is nothing new. Having experience in the deployment of thousands of tower and fiber infrastructures it is advised to maintain as many options as possible. Keep in mind that, sometimes, remediation of an existing site can cost more than just building “greenfield”.
- What technical resources do States have available to assist with deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network?
Response: There are numerous assets available for any given State, i.e. Agriculture, Forestry, Utilities, Transportation, DoD and others. Through the State agencies that tie into the CIO organization you will find assets of fiber, microwave, cellular and other radio based technologies. You will also find a myriad of control centers, data centers and storage area networks tied together with large complex enterprise solutions. Outside of the physical assets you will find a whole host of technical skill-sets and talents that are very familiar with the execution, deployment and operations of many broadband technologies -- to include LTE.
- How will States include utilities or other interested third parties in their planning activities?
Response: As with any large programs there will be a multitude of agencies wanting access to the broadband solution. As for the execution of the program/project their will be a centralized project office for the State, most likely under the control of the State CIO, to which all State entities and agencies will flow through for resources, assets and inputs. Most importantly will be the cost cutting measures of utilizing existing assets that can be utilized to minimize cost and time. As was depicted earlier it would be essential that the Public Private Partnership also be a part of this teaming effort; in essence certain assets within a Utility, for example, could be utilized and through the use of assets they could mitigate a lower annual payment for use of the broadband network. It will be crucial that the controlling board of the Public Private Partnership maintain the equality of the State Agencies and their representation in the matter of access and asset distribution and sharing.
- Should NTIA encourage planning for the formation and use of public/ private partnerships in the deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network? If so, how?
Response: This will be essential to the success of the deployment and long-term operations of the network. Current estimates for the completed national network will fall somewhere between 50-100 Billion dollars. Access to additional funding and investment sources will be pivotal to making this a success.
To initiate such an endeavor there would need to be a P3 (Public Private Partnership) Committee/Department created to help with the State based formation of P3 modeling to include private investment opportunities and the reuse and distribution of essential assets to cut and streamline costs. This committee’s, or department’s, primary mission is the case-by-case business case analysis for each and every State deployed network that will tie into the overall national plan. It will be necessary to execute in a similar format as to eliminate complexities and unfair business practices and to insure equality for the investors, public and private, for each and every P3 model initiated.