Tuesday, April 23, 2013

FirstNet Board has some life? Would a 40-year veteran of Public Safety service lie about not getting information from his own board members?

Is there life within the FirstNet Board conducting secret meetings and not involving sitting board members? Is there truth to a recent motion that will impact the development of the Nations First Responder Public Safety Broadband Network -- emphasis on "Public Safety Network"?

What a nice and heated debate today. Finally it looks as if there is some life on the FirstNet Board. I'm specifically addressing Chief Fitzgerald's motion to the board and a breaking point to the finality of 9-months of frustration on the behalf of the PSAC. 

There may be something to Chief Fitzgerald's motion. I believe what the Chief is trying to convey is that the typical process of transparency that you would expect to see at any local school board illustrates how ineffective the FirstNet process truly is. Why is this so hard to understand? This open and transparent process is nothing new. It’s as if the Board has taken upon themselves that they themselves must physically build the network and are charging ahead to make that happen. That’s impossible given their short terms on the board. Unless of course the Chief is right and there are alternative agendas at play? I mean we are talking about the most valuable piece of spectrum property that the United States has to offer. It is most undoubtedly very attractive to the carrier commercial market space, so why wouldn't they do whatever they could to obtain the rights to that spectrum?  

Has anyone in the public seen this “Business Plan” that has supposedly been developed? We heard about it a few months ago but no one outside of the board has seen or heard anything.....as well as Chief Fitzgerald it seems. 

Why are we speaking about “App Stores” when we don’t even know how the entire network will be paid for and who will fund the network?

Why do the Apps being spoken about directly connect the commercial wireless to the private protected network of the PSBN? Shouldn't we have a network first?

What happened to cyber-security concerns?

Why would a sitting board member go on a national forum to state he is not getting the access and the information needed to participate? Do we assume that a 40 year veteran of Public Safety, and the pinnacle of the Police hierarchy, would lie to us....at an open forum to the nation?

Is there a hint of truth here?

It’s not so much the specific tools, apps and designs that are being presented, as it is the process of how they are being created. The whole process of a “Board” conducting preliminary designs, application development and fostering carrier relationships is inappropriate. I would envision that the new General Manager (who comes from Verizon and which opens even more doors of bias) would be the one actually performing these tasks…not the “Board”. I believe this is the basis for Chief Fitzgerald’s motion. It’s as if we are hearing about the need for such a great and all-encompassing network and how they will work with the States, tribes and territories, yet all we see from the webcasted board meetings are solutions without any input from anyone outside of the immediate board. How do we get to solutions when we don’t know how it will be funded and coordinated with State input? The accusation from a sitting board member who states that he isn't even part of the discussions surrounding the design; the business model ; the carrier relations; nor the acts of execution, concerns me greatly. It should concern all of us. 

This is NOT a commercial company. I’m afraid that the current FirstNet Board is taking us down a path of “carrier commercialization” that will drastically harm our ability to perform First Response. The Chief is right in that the network belongs to our First Responder capability. Maybe he is right in that we should have never called upon executives, that are accustomed to building carrier commercial networks, to build our nations Public Safety Broadband Network. The carrier model for development is not the solution for FirstNet. Just because the carriers are in the business of providing commercial voice and data services to the general public, does not mean they are the ones who know how to build a large private public safety solution.

To clarify, there is one thing that I do not agree with Chief Fitzgerald and that is the statement that it is Public Safety's network....when in fact it is the peoples network being utilized by Public Safety. I do not feel comfortable with a carrier designing, developing, implementing and operating a network that is there to protect me and my family if something drastic were to happen. The stigmatism of a commercial carrier will always be held to their standard of revenue based support operations. I, we, cannot move beyond the stereotype that the intentions of the carrier provided network will not be compromised by a commercial carrier thought process. Outside of the accusations of not being incorporated into the daily dealings of the FirstNet I believe Chief Fitzgerald highlights the important fact that our network design, and its implementation, may be compromised by carrier intentions that do not match those intentions of the Public Safety. 

Our first objective with building this all-encompassing broadband network should start with a business plan that specifically addresses the funding and investment scenarios and overall all management before we start engaging such things as design and app development. The development of this business plan should be open and transparent to the public. This is the mission of the board.

It’s like I just told my kid we are going to go to Disney World so he starts walking without knowing how we plan to pay for it or how we plan to get there. Do we take a train, plane, car or boat? When do we go? What will we do when we get there? Who will go with us? Our funding will dictate that.

Just some guy and a blog….

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