Wednesday, August 19, 2015

FirstNet and the Public Safety Broadband Network to Privatize! Love the idea!

Sorry for the long delay in my postings – not that anyone cares anyway – but family takes priority. I’ve been following all the articles and press clippings on the progress – or lack there of – related to FirstNet and the National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). I have a few comments, if anyone is interested.

So let me get this straight the Middle Class Tax Relief and Jobs Creation Act was signed in February of 2012 and we are just now assigning a “CEO” for FirstNet? Isn’t that 3 years now and more than 14 years since 9-11? I have nothing against Mr. Poth, and frankly don’t know anything about him, so lets give him the benefit of the doubt and support his ability to lead the effort. My real question to everyone is, will the appointment make a difference? At this point in the game we could appoint Hillary Clinton to the job, at least we would have an email server setup. ;) You must admit that setting up her email server in her bathroom made for an easy wipe of the hard drives – I’m just saying. Puts a whole new meaning to potty talk. Here I felt as though reading the iPad on the toilet was going to make my wife mad!

We have an election year coming up. If the conservative’s take over the government what do we think will happen with FirstNet? Do we actually think the new President will keep funding the FirstNet initiative, or will it become and unfunded mandate with the new guidelines to let the State’s build their own solutions? Or worse yet, do we still think the carriers are the best option? As I have preached about in the past, building this network is not rocket science. Developing a real business case is not some secret private sauce. It’s all too obvious that there are a few who understand quite well what this network could do for the Nation, and what it’s worth, thus delaying its deployment is to the advantage of a certain sect of the elite. I’m not trying to be derogatory towards the Elite -- I wish I were one of them. If that were the case, and I was part of the Elite, I wouldn’t be posting on any blog, rather I be laying on my private beach, on my private island, acting like a Cabana Boy for my wife.

It’s also very obvious that a high-stakes game of poker and politics (is there really a difference) is being played on all of us, most importantly the Public’s Safety.  All I know is that the State’s are wasting time waiting for FirstNet to get its act together. In fact those that wait are those armchair quarterbacks trying to decipher when to buy stock in the deployment of the NPSBN (National Public safety Broadband Network). By the time you are able to buy your stock the opportunity has done passed you by. Why do we need to wait when we know what the outcome will be, an outcome that is becoming all too familiar with all of us? The Federal Government has its place, but I’m afraid that the Federal Government is not in a position, or retains any real technical capability to deploy this highly complex LTE solution. I know that sounds counter to my statement of not being rocket science. But to someone like myself deploying a broadband infrastructure is not a technical challenge; it’s more of a managerial issue.

LTE is still a very complex technology, which means, you need to have the market insight, technical knowhow, and the entrepreneurial spirit of deploying telecommunications first. But if you think the basic deployment of a physical infrastructure is important, wait until you see what the virtual world of enterprise applications all based off cloud based service platforms will be.  Yes, I’m talking about the cloud native applications to implement the services. That’s right we are talking about the enormously complex tone of cloud-based services, PaaS, SaaS and other Big Data analytical solutions to modernize our entire infrastructure of Public Safety capabilities that will make our physical deployment of LTE look like a child playing with Legos. Better start reading if you haven’t done so already. Deploying the applications layer of the entire solution will outpace the needs of the physical infrastructure fast. Why you say? Well because we have an entire new market of Big Data and Cyber Security that is forcing the verbiage of LTE and broadband as passé.

The implications of deploying NG-911, which should be the first application to be designed, built and delivered, will not, and should not, be just a migration of the old enterprise solutions onto the new broadband platform. The NG-911 solution will, in fact, have to be designed from the ground up so that we can benefit from all the real feature sets of native based Platforms as a Service (PaaS). The impacts of PaaS solutions will mean a whole new way of hiring the right talent and fostering the right technical know-how than we have experienced in the past. This is where Mr Poth, and his contacts at HP, will come in handy.

You see HP is one of the leaders in this market, which is very beneficial to all of us, having them on your team will be a great start. We have to remember that there are many others in this field, i.e. IBM, SAP, EMC and others that are just in the start-up phase, who all specialize in certain aspects of enterprise application development. But don’t worry; there will be plenty of work and programs to go around. If you think the complexity of deploying NG-911 will be difficult, wait until you see the deployment of Healthcare Patient Tracking solutions; or the deployment of hardened SMART Grid; or the applications to support High-Speed Rail throughout the United States – all of which are considered part of the Public Safety Broadband Solution. Unfortunately, NG-911 will be fast paced fad in a market that will last decades, if not centuries.

The entire ecosystem of the native cloud solutions will drive a whole new market of opportunities. I’m more than confident that there are those within this political quagmire who fully understand the situation.  There are those in charge that are secretly plotting and manipulating the aspects of control. Their end game will be a touchy subject of trying to manage the output, and timeline, for what services and programs will come first – of course delivered by those they believe to be the real experts -- thus furthering the same-old isolated procurement processes, segregated and biased towards a non-competitive landscape that only benefits those in control of the process. I know that sounds like conspiracy theory, but when it looks like a Duck, smells like a Duck and quacks like a Duck, then its with sound judgment that it’s a… Fowl. In the end, this network is worth more than all the carriers combined. This network is the baseline for a whole new infrastructure that will replace everything we have seen to date – the carriers know this, a few in the Government know this, and the large corporate government contractors understand this as well.  Do we blame anyone for trying to maneuver for his or her own gain? It’s human nature isn’t it? Or is it just greed? The fact is there will be plenty to go around, and many of those who believe themselves to be the “Masters of Control”, will be a faded memory of a handshake at a conference some years ago.

The move by the FCC to re-commission Title II, naming broadband as a utility, opens the entire market to new players; players that can generate a lot of revenue using this new framework of broadband – prioritized for Public Safety. But, we can’t design such a complex solution with a mass of people, I get that, but that’s no reason for not being transparent. Has anyone seen a real business model for this thing yet? One way to mask your political ambitions is by hiding in plain site. Every little detail of the solution will be lost to the general mass of observers when overloaded with large amounts of data. It’s like forcing a Police Captain to understand every little nuance of deploying a large and costly broadband solution, touching every square inch of the United States, when you knowingly understand that this person has limited market foresight on the economics and the density of deploying broadband. One thing can be assured is that such a person will get out of it is a lot of good sleep. Maybe the intention is not to have that individual act as the lead in deploying the infrastructure? Maybe he, or she, is just being positioned for the next bigger phase of FirstNet – that being the catalyst to creating an entire ecosystem of PaaS and SaaS solutions that will ride the network being deployed. After all, that is where the big money will be made in both the deployment of the applications and the services rendered through them.

If I were a betting man, that’s where I would put my money. It’s all about the long game. After all, why call someone a CEO if you don’t intent to privatize? If that is indeed the direction we are heading, then I for one will be right behind you as a supporter.

But what do I know I’m…

Just some guy and a blog…

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