Let’s say they get their network built with a commercial carrier, it will totally defeat the entire purpose of Public Safety Broadband. The entire cause for pulling back the D-Block spectrum back from its original auction to the carriers, almost 10 years ago, was mainly because we could not count on the commercial carriers infrastructure to operate during times of emergencies, i.e. hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes. All FirstNet has done is what it set out to do since the beginning, get the spectrum into the hands of the commercial carriers. Plus, it will fall dramatically short in its original plan for complete coverage of the United States. In fact by partnering with the commercial carriers will only insure that the carriers gets premium spectrum to expand their own services within 42% of the geographic metropolitan coverage areas, while the taxpayer flips the bill to harden the commercial carriers networks – what a deal!
First, you auction off the most valuable spectrum on the planet to the commercial market? The carriers offer up over $10 Billion for it? Then you have a change of heart and pull it back because the commercial carriers can’t keep their own networks up during an emergency? Then you give the spectrum to Public Safety so that they can build their own, protected and hardened, network specifically for Public Safety? Then our Federal Government has a major flip-flop event and gives the spectrum back to the carriers for free? Only in this case the taxpayer now pays for the commercial carriers infrastructure updates via a nationwide RFP? Man I wish I had that kind of deal! Can someone tell me who is in charge here, because I know its not FirstNet. FirstNet, has the board, made up of a majority of non-telecom people, have been easily influenced by those that say they are the experts in delivering the network? How asinine can this get?
The only people that will prosper from this deal will be the carriers. Public Safety once again can’t get its act together. As I stated more than 2 years ago, after the 400 page fiasco, FirstNet has been sold on the notion that they can’t build anything without the carriers help. The fact is the carriers don’t even build their own networks, plus they don’t even own their own towers anymore (ref AT&T and Verizon’s sales of tower assets). What good will this partnership garner? FirstNet’s plan is going to fail miserably, or it will be lost to the political chaos of how the Federal Government typically works. What a total waste of money -- and spectrum. As long as FirstNet keeps its course, I’m afraid the solution is a total loss. There is only one way out of this entire mess – the State Governor.
Everyone should read about Pennsylvania’s plan on how it wants to build its network; that is the closest effort to success so far. Just so you know, their solution is in-direct conflict with FirstNet’s plan. Who will win in the end? Who will lose? The winners will not be the taxpayer and it won’t be Public Safety. Public Safety….Governor…..are you going to let the Federal Government come in and build a network with the carriers who have everything to gain using your land, your taxpayer money, and not share in any of the profit? Or will you take control of your own use of the spectrum and create your own model that will enable your ability to create jobs, lower taxes, and reap the benefits of revenue? Even the Commonwealth of Kentucky has initiated its first step of building the backbone that will let the wireless broadband ride upon, and its using my Public Private Partnership model (although stolen acquired by Macquarie). Will Kentucky allow the Federal Government come in with its carrier partner to force the others out, all while giving them free access to your newly created fiber network? The FirstNet plan does none of this for you and in fact will only be setup for the commercial carriers to win. Let’s get ready for the fight.
Also, FirstNet stated they will work with the rural carriers as well. Only problem there is these rural carriers are in the metropolitan areas as well. Will FirstNet give authority for the commercial carrier to control on that turf as well? Plus, the rural carriers only cover the small towns and cities. Nobody in the telco space provides services to the rest of the 60% of the geographic landmass of the US. Why? Because it costs too much for them to make a profit. So, instead of the commercial carrier not willing to lose their own money on the plan, FirstNet decides to step in and have the taxpayer pay for the carriers deficiencies? As I stated before, the carriers will now be able to access the rural markets, sell commercial services to the rural areas, all while not spending a dime of their own money to build it, nor a dime to acquire the valuable spectrum they once offered more than $10 Billion for. Instead the taxpayer will pay for it? Somebody just got taken! That someone is all of us. If I were a carrier I would be having the biggest party ever! As an entrepeneur, that was a great play by the carriers. FirstNet -- I think the term is called rope-a-dope.
But who am I other than….
Just some guy and a blog……