Thursday, August 8, 2013

FirstNet and the "Opt Out" -- does a State need to ask the State Legislature?

A lot is happening within the FirstNet background. One of the issues, that came out of a few States’ that I’ve been conversing with, is the legislative support within the State body of representatives.

It starts with a simple, yet key, question for any State: do you want to pay for your own PSBN deployment and self-sustainment -- which ultimately means your taxpayers and the federal government? Or, would you like to monetize the spectrum for yourself by having private equity come in a pay for it all, at the same time having the state share in the revenue, which means more jobs, stronger economy and no taxpayer burden. The answer is obvious -- I haven’t seen a state yet say no to the P3 -- but what next? The next step is support!

If private equity comes in to pay for your PSBN deployment, and its long-term management, do you have to go to the State legislature and ask for a budget? If you don’t have to ask for a budget can you just execute on your own? My encouragement would be to tie in your legislature, as I am quite sure, there will be plenty of representatives who would want to tie themselves to such a patriotic task as performing public safety – especially given what happened during 9-11. Another important item is that a number of States are enacting the Public Private Partnership model as a rule of law; such as the State of Texas, Maryland and others. In some instances it is now a mandate for a State to entertain any Public Private Partnership as offered to a State.

In the end though, all a State really needs is a budget to build its RFP; project a recurring revenue stream to sell to private equity; advertise that RFP to the private equity market; and then entice those private equity players to respond.

Just some guy and a blog….

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