Ouch! Have you read the latest article about FirstNet in the New York Times?
“Unfortunately, the inspector general’s report confirms what we have suspected and long feared — that FirstNet had been operating without proper processes and with disregard for laws that guard against impropriety,” Mr. Walden said in a statement. “Questions of ethics threaten the legitimacy of FirstNet’s efforts and ultimately undermine its important mission to build a nationwide public safety broadband network.” (New York Times)
Here I thought the daytime drama show “As the World Turns” had vacated the scene only to find out it has a life and is still making in roads in Reality TV. Next we will find out if it was his evil twin brother that actually committed the crime and had an affair with his brother’s mistress. Good thing that Chief Fitzgerald doesn’t eat Quiche, nor like to watch daytime dramas.
As I stated in a much earlier post entitled “How do you hide a 400-page FirstNet business plan with no one finding out? Any suggestions?” someone is going to jail over this. It’s very unfortunate that one’s personal ambition, and the sin of greed, can cloud the judgment of the honorable man – or was it un-honorable man? I’m confused. My only question is what happens to the lobbyist that were encouraging and supporting the crime? After all Sam Ginn could not have done this alone -- if it were Sam Ginn. The fact is such behavior has now destroyed the trust between the States and the Federal Government.
If times were different then this may have been just another short-lived news story, but given the nature of today’s political scene, and the history of other failed Federal technology initiatives, this will linger for sometime like a bad stench of spoiled milk in the refrigerator. Regardless, this is water under the bridge and the process of the investigation is in someone else’s hands now. Thank goodness that Sue Swenson is doing a good job in turning this all around.
Unfortunately all this wasted time and effort has forced Chairwoman Swenson to take a few steps back. The struggle to rebuild the trust between the States and the Federal Government has to be repaired else the “FirstNet” plan will fail. That doesn’t mean the Public Safety Broadband Initiative will fail, in contrary, there is a silver lining to all this. The situation that FirstNet is in will help guide those States that were going to Opt-In with the epiphany of Opt Out.
A lot of people think that the State’s can’t do this on their own, but in reality the opposite is in fact the case. It is the Federal Government who can’t do this without the States. A State can initiate its own Public Private Partnership (P3) to build its own Public Safety Broadband Network, even with the standards and approved vendors laid-out by the PSCR. The truth be told that the success of this whole nationwide technical solution is dependent upon a small piece of silicate.
Yes, a piece of silicon is all that connects total interoperability between all the State deployed Public Safety Broadband Networks – that being the Band-14 Chip -- no bigger than the end of your finger tip and thinner than the tip of a pencil. This means we can put this small chip into my refrigerator and it can be totally interoperable part of the Public Safety Broadband Network. The point I’m trying to make is that this network is not as complex as the unknowing realize.
In the end we must remember that the FirstNet mission is a totally separate program from the State initiated P3, or Opt Out scenario, as it pertains to governance and control. As I have written about in earlier articles, tactically the technical solution will remain the same. When FirstNet gets its mission back online then they can start to incorporate all the State solutions into one homogenous solution. Come to think of it, Sam Ginn may have done FirstNet a favor in that regard. Imagine not being burdened with the necessity to build the network and passing those risks onto the States to build it for them…and it’s still totally interoperable? Ingenious!
But who am I other than…
Just some guy and a blog….