Tuesday, June 21, 2016

FirstNet -- the fat lady is singing! Sure was a lot of Q&A on State Opt Outs in the subcommittee meeting today?

Anybody doubt me now? Hopefully you had a chance to review the Subcommittee on FirstNet yesterday. One thing to note was a lot of talk, and questions, surrounding State Opt-Outs. Where there is smoke then there must be fire. You will also note that TJ is an eloquent dancer and can avoid the question like a career politician. One question that hit home was “how many States do you think will Opt Out of FirstNet?” (Congressman Barton of Texas I believe)  The answer to this question will align with my earlier projections of roughly 37 States will Opt-Out. How do I know this? Well, because I presented to all 50 States and the territories, so I have some firsthand insight and premonitions as to where this is going. You should refer to my much earlier article about Red-vs-Blue States. It only takes a hand full of States willing to Opt-Out to kill FirstNet’s top down plan, thus the dancing around the subject. By answering the question means stating the obvious…a declaration of defeat. But, like I said some time ago, in FirstNet's mind defeat is not an option, no matter how much time, money and effort are spent trying to convince themselves of this. But, this only declares defeat on the notion that their “top-down” plan won’t work.

It’s not the end-game for FirstNet -- they will just have their wings cut a little bit. FirstNet is still required for the national footprint and coordination of all the State networks. Without FirstNet administering a national solution, the coordination during multi-State, or large geographically dispersed disaster scenarios, will be uncoordinated and thus a failure.

The fact remains that the term “Opt-Out” really doesn’t exist. The top-down solution for FirstNet was never going to be successful… for building the network that is. In order for FirstNet to be successful, it has to concentrate on establishing itself in a centralized role for the State plans, plus if it wants to create a stream of revenue to build its own self-sustainment, it needs to take a minority shareholder position in each of the State’s Opt Out Public Private Partnerships. The success of Public Safety’s broadband network lies within the State’s ability to conduct its own Public Private Partnership and execute on its own DBOM solution. As part of that success FirstNet must create a centralized standard of interoperability and technical requirements. This is the only way Public Safety can monetize the use of the spectrum to optimal levels of self-sustainment.

Although a State doesn’t require it, FirstNet could also setup a framework of the Public Private Partnership model that each of the States could follow, but like I said, it’s not required by the State, but it is advisable for FirstNet in its national role.  In the end, a State does not need FirstNet as much as FirstNet needs the States. FirstNet needs to let go of the notion that it has to physically design, build, operate and maintain statewide broadband networks; it must focus instead on its centralized interoperable role of interconnecting each of the State solutions into one homogenous platform of Public Safety response and control as needed. FirstNet must work with the States, but allow the States to take the lead in their own builds and P3s, this is the only way self-funding and self-sustainment can be met.

Just some guy and a blog…

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