Friday, October 12, 2012

Response to the NTIA (FirstNet) Request For Information (RFI) due November 1st

First, I really want to express my gratitude for what this board is undertaking. I know it will be a long journey and I look forward to its future.

In reviewing the presentation for the FirstNet Broadband Public Safety Network I noticed a few things.

  • The proposal was a good presentation outlining the overall goal of FirstNet and then gave a rendition of a model to move forward with.
  • The solution presented a “subscriber based model” which I expected
    • In doing so it required a multi-State, Multi-Regional approach in order to make it work.
    • It brought up the context of Public-Private Partnerships but from I could gather it was not a true P3 concept; it stressed more the relationship of products being introduced into the network.
  • It was clear that a true “Needs Analysis” has not being conducted and was only limited to Public Safety entities; not Public Safety Service entities…there’s a big difference.
  • The presentation outlined a multi-tiered multi-operator framework, which may not be realistic. If we try to focus on too many variables that can contribute to the network we will spin our wheels on trying to execute. We need to focus initially on the FirstNet Private Network first.
  • It also stressed a multi-layer of networks on top of the Band 14 network of FirstNet for resiliency.

To review my NTIA submission follow this link:  Dr. Michael Myers

My primary sticking point on this presentation was the belief that a “Subscriber model” is what FirstNet should concentrate on. This is a good business case for a commercial carrier, but not a private network for the PSBN, especially a private network with multiple layers of commercial networks as backup. If the course is set to go this route the deployment will lack the required funding to make it happen. There simply won’t be enough “subscribers” to make it work. Case in point is the carriers themselves. Why is that they are moving away from the “subscriber model” if their own ARPU’s (Average rate Per User) are declining? It costs more to try maintain the network and to upgrade to new platforms than the ARPUs bring in return. Why would we push this model onto the PSBN?

I am presenting an alternative Public Private Partnership model that not only brings in enough recurring revenue to fund the deployment of the entire PSBN, plus its additional O&M (Operations and Maintenance) cost, but it also avoids taxpayer money. And I don’t need multi-State and multi-Regional input…all it needs is one State and its core Public Safety Service entities.

The reason the “subscriber model” presented requires Multi-State and Multi-Regional coordination is to boost the number of actual subscriber units. My only question is who will benefit from the subscriber costs? FirstNet, the Vendors, or the carriers? Through my model it won’t require a multi-State or multi-Regional aspect to make it work. And the revenue goes to the State and FirstNet --as well as its Public Private Partnership. The handsets become a capital cost measure that is allocated under the overall business case expenditures, thus a Chief of Police doesn’t have to worry about the cost of handsets and the recurring monthly charge for access. Those cost items are inherent to the overall architecture.

Overall the model I am presenting has already been validated with a working business case and thus should be considered for the Band 14 PSBN network business case.

As it relates to the technical solutions of multi-layer networks they are all perfectly doable if FirstNet sees the need. In actuality they integrate easier and become more effective under my model than the prescribed “subscriber model”.  In essence the “Multi-State or Multi-Regional” Band A Operators are the States Public Private Partnership.

Just some guy and a blog…

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