Governor, what are you waiting for? Do you realize that you are the only one holding up your State’s next big job creator, economic catalyst, and income source? By waiting for FirstNet you are only extending a bad view of your own mindset and how the State can be improved. The scope of the National Public Safety Broadband Network is not about broadband – it’s all about building a large scale, protected, infrastructure.
Anybody that’s been in the telecom industry for the last 30 years can tell you, FirstNet’s issue is not a technical problem; we’ve been deploying LTE for more than 10 years now. They will also tell you that it's not a tactical deployment problem; we’ve been building telecom infrastructure for more than 40 years now. What any telecom veteran will tell you is that FirstNet’s primary problem is financial. You solve the financial problem then everything else within the technical and tactical requirements will fall in line.
The second issue that FirstNet faces is credibility. How do you convince someone who has already committed themselves to NOT rely upon the federal government to do anything local? How do you convince a State Official that someone outside of the State can do anything better than what they can do for themselves? The fact is you can’t. You cannot change someone who has committed themselves in the mind. All you will do is waste a lot of time, energy, and money trying to convince someone who doesn’t want to change. Ultimately the end result is you giving up later on – even if you force them to do what you want. Sound familiar? Any parent can teach you this fact of life.
Anyone who is already committed in the mind, will not falter from their standpoint; in fact, they will only become more defiant to your demands -- then everyone loses. The only thing you can do is understand their point of view, commit yourself to help them where you can, and adjust to repair if they fail. In the end, it's not about who has the bigger stick; it’s about getting something done. Just accept the other viewpoint, then move on to others who support your more direct idea. Stop worrying about interoperability, or control, no one wants to build an isolated broadband network that doesn’t work with anyone else – that’s counterintuitive. Once FirstNet understands this, then trust will start to ferment.
The law states that the Public Safety Broadband Network has to be “self-sustaining” and “self-funded”. These requirements, along with technical and tactical requirements, become the basis for everything that FirstNet has to do going forward. There’s no such thing as partial government subsidies, grants, or taxpayer funded bond, that defines “self-funding” or “self-sustaining”. The only way to achieve total “self-funding” and “self-sustaining” is to be a private commercially driven solution focused on prioritizing Public Safety. The only way to achieve a commercially driven solution to meet the financial needs of support for Public Safety is through a balanced Public Private Partnership business model built from the bottom-up -- The Myers Model. “Self-funded” and “self-sustaining” is the antithesis to President Obama’s viewpoint that “they didn’t build that; the government did” approach.
In fact, the law, as written, is the basis for the converse approach and ultimately the antithetical desires of what the President was signing into law (HR 3630). In short, the President declares publicly that solutions, like FirstNet, are not built by the individual, but rather the government; then turns around and signs a contradictory law into existence. By the President singing HR 3630, of which specifically declares a “self-driven entity”, separate from the Federal Government (FirstNet), and then factually stating that the solution that “FirstNet” is to deliver is required to “self-fund” and “self-sustain”, only illustrates that the whole process for FirstNet was doomed from day one. Kind of like “War of the Worlds” – the Aliens were doomed the moment they entered our atmosphere.
How will FirstNet, or at least the Public Safety Broadband Network, be saved? That one little clause in the Act that states that a State can “Opt-Out” of FirstNet and build it themselves using their own “Public Private Partnership”. If you look back at the development of the law, it's like someone knew that this was going to be a disaster from the start, thus, they managed to put in a “backdoor” for States to escape and act upon. Just the thought of a “backdoor” is an illustration in the lack of support for a total government delivered solution. In the end, the “Opt-Out” approach only illustrates that there was never any real belief that the government was going to succeed anyway, so why wait now?
Realistically, the notion of failure for the “top-down” approach is starting to take hold. Why else would you put out a hail-marry of an “objectives based RFP”? As I stated, if FirstNet is devoted to their “top-down”, “all for one federal approach”, to building the National Public Safety Broadband Network, then let them. As written in the “Art of War”, “never interrupt your enemy as they fall”. But, having pushed the Public Safety community around for so long, then not delivering a convincing message of a solution, has only depleted the trust to a point of dissociation.
The fact remains the same – Governor -- why are you holding up your State’s ability to capitalize on the creation of new jobs, more economic development, advancing commercial services, all while prioritizing Public Safety onto a broadband infrastructure for your State? Why are you listening to someone who isn’t local to any of your concerns? What do you, and your constituents, have to gain from watching the FirstNet “top-down” solution fail? What do you really expect you're going to hear from FirstNet on what their offer is to the State? Don’t you see that by acting now you can foster a more convincing position with the people that elected you? Why do we need to wait for a FirstNet solution you know you are not going to run with anyway? Just congratulate FirstNet on their achievements so far, then move on and do what’s right for your own citizens. Take it from a guy with more than 30 years in developing the broadband industry….no one is going to build and prosper more from your own network than you.
But who am I other than….
Just some guy and a blog…...