The art of building a large federal bureaucracy is taking a toll on FirstNet. The overarching desire to centralize the Public Safety Broadband Network under one federal organization is starting to follow the same path as any other federal agency…. large, cumbersome and flustered with red-tape -- ultimately its own worst enemy. Such bureaucratic behavior can easily be interpreted as “non-interoperable” in the eyes of the States. And here we thought that interoperability was a technical issue. Who would have thought that the same organization yelling to the masses about Interoperability is in itself actually the source of "interoperability"?
The best point to make out of this whole FirstNet thing is by highlighting the fact that if you want to get this network built, you have to encourage the States to move forward on their own -- under a high-level framework established by FirstNet. Had FirstNet adopted this philosophy from the beginning they could have completed a framework of execution within their first 6-months. But, politics is always present when money, taxpayer money, is involved. FirstNet doesn’t need to measure the distance between threads on the first screw when building the FirstNet structure; they just need to focus on what it looks like from afar and what the approved parts should be.
Ultimately, what we are faced with is the fact that FirstNet needs to come to its own self-realization that it is a governing body… not a contractor. I think that Bill D’Agastino (GM) gets this, but is inundated with the realization of the never-ending battle of bureaucracy… in short he can’t win unless he relinquishes more control to the States, but, he needs to do it in a manner that sets the tone for his ability to govern its implementation as discernable by those politicians that are controlling the bureaucratic process. In essence, FirstNet needs to get out of its own way here and let Bill work with the States, so the States can build their own solutions. Here is a question: what happens if the States go with the Myers Model™ and they don’t need any federal or state taxpayer money to design, build, operate or self-sustain? If we aren’t asking for a budget from the legislators do we actually need any involvement with the government? What happens if we have one state making lots of revenue off their own established Myers Model™ implementation, yet another state is not because it chose the FirstNet “all encompassing” bureaucratic model? Who will pick up the bill in getting state efforts back in shape? Jenny Craig or Richard Simmons?
A few states are in fact starting to take the lead. FirstNet needs to encourage this mindset and let it grow to their advantage. By advantage, I mean FirstNet needs to partner with the State and share in its opportunities garnered through the use of the public private partnership model. As I have stated in the past it would be to FirstNet’s advantage to join in on the solution rather than fester the problem. In the end, FirstNet would save a lot of time, and money, if it were to focus on the State’s efforts to create their own P3 -- they will make a lot more money this way than trying to tap the taxpayers every time they need money. The avoidance of the political confusion, as well as the models ability to build economic incentives into the States, only benefits us all, but most specifically those States that are having economic problems.
The way I interpret it, FirstNet is trying to enter the luxury car market by building a Yugo knock-off without really reflecting inward by asking if this is the correct course of action, not just for themselves, but for the benefit of the States and all Americans. Why not just invest in the work of others -- others who have the knowledge of local execution and local governance; someone who can deliver what really needs to be delivered at the State level and has more of a direct ear to its resident Americans?
But then again I’m…
Just some guy and a blog!