Wednesday, November 20, 2013

FirstNet and the State's - The twist and turns...well actually not....we're still at the starting line!

This is what happens when you don't have anything to do during the put out a lot of blog entries. 

FirstNet has been preaching about the need for a “one-network" solution to be deployed nationwide, after seeing the governments ability to put up a website, how many of us want to put a highly complex broadband network in the hands of the same people? This doesn’t mean that Bill D’Agostino, or his staff, aren't capable of doing what is needed. What I’m  saying is that maybe a business philosophy, of executing one of the most complex broadband networks in the world, shouldn’t be under the planning of the Federal Government. I think Mr D’Agostino is well suited to lead such an effort to build this network, but from a private standpoint! Otherwise, we have too many Chief’s in the Fire (no pun intended to our Public Safety guys). I don’t think anybody would want to see a rollout of a network that is suppose to be interoperable, integrated, funded and self-sustaining, only wind up being another nationwide rollout of LMR…or worse a healthcare website.

The beauty of the Public Private Partnership, with Private Equity awardees, even the network operations, planning, and oversight of the national network can be paid for, with a little more involvement from the Feds than a State needs, and executed for FirstNet itself. Such a P3 would be slightly different than a State P3. It will become evident that monetization of the spectrum will produce more revenue, still controlled by the State, in partnership with a Private Equity awarded team.  Remember, the Private Equity Team that wants to invest and respond to a State’s RFP, will team with a general contractor that will bring in design solutions through vendor relationships, much like any typical network is built and deployed today, only in this case the Private Equity investment is primarily there to fund the entire statewide implementation, management and operation of the State’s P3 SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) and PSBN solution….still under majority ownership of the State. In short, a new broadband company for the State; under control of the State; limited to Public Safety as the primary means of operations; and designed and built to the standards of FirstNet. 

After all, we know that $7 Billion isn’t enough to build the nationwide network anyway. Why not limit the use of those funds to the FirstNet organization itself in order to incite private equity involvement at the federal level — such funding can be limited to the overall Public Safety national footprint by focusing on national data centers, NOC centers, cloud based services and governance oversight. Leave the State to build their own P3 solution. FirstNet can then coordinate the interoperability of each State’s network into the “one-network” scenario. The notion of a “one-network” solution, nationwide, is fiction at its best anyway.  

In the end, there is no better model, nor better solution, than the P3 I have been advocating about -- especially when it comes to balancing the business needs of all those involved. We need to come to the realization that trying to grab for the whole enchilada will not work. We need to focus on each part and then focus on getting them integrated. Look at it from a very basic stand-point: have you ever played 52 card pickup? When you started to pick them up, did you grab for all of them at the same time? We need to be realistic in our approach to building this public safety network. But, then again….

I’m just some guy and a blog….

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