Watching FirstNet create a “top-down” federal approach to building the Public Safety Broadband Network, is like watching the EU get created all over again. Everyone thinks it’s a great idea until they finally figure out that the cost to take part is way too expensive.
The issue with a centralized approach to running anything has nothing to do with how great everything sounds for the future, but rather the lack of knowledge on the impacts of increased bureaucracy that establishes an autocratic organization. Every program that stemmed from the same theory has failed, i.e. communism, socialism, and autocracies. All these programs fail because they are inundated with processes, procedures, rules, laws and the lack of creative design. In short, if you over complicate the effort with autocratic efforts you will detract the required creative approach.
There is a fine line, or glass ceiling, on how far you can implement a centralized approach to delivering the PSBN (anything actually). You have to balance the creativity approach, with balanced processes and procedures that don’t askew the equilibrium. Working from the national level approach to centralizing the build out of the PSBN introduces way more complexities than the centralized authority can handle – let alone generate a clear and concise business plan. The only way to control the balance between the development, demand, and the need, has to start at the bottom, develop upward, and be realistic that the State is the glass ceiling. By sub-compartmentalizing each State solution you can them ramp them up into a national solution of oversight and limited control when needed. In English – we have to build from the bottom up and that starts with the State, then we can rope them all together into a FirstNet national oversight solution.
The reason we won the Cold War was all because of money. In short, we bankrupted Russia into submission. The same thing will happen to FirstNet if they continue down the path of top-down. Eventually, if forced, the States will just not do anything and won’t let anything happen in their State, or they won’t buy the service being offered, thus eventually bankrupting FirstNet. If a State really wants to do what is right, it must build its own solution using a Public Private Partnership that balances those involved and generates revenue prioritized for Public Safety.
The real game here is not about giving Public Safety priority access to communications – although very valiant – the real effort is to insure Public Safety has priority over the revenue generated, so that they can pay for those communication services from now until the end of days. The only way you will be able to insure Public Safety is first in line with the revenue generated is to maintain control – thus FirstNet fighting to maintain control. The real control needs to happen locally and within the State. In the end it’s all about the money – that is always the case. You control the money, you control the network; you control the network you control who gets to take part -- much like the EU.
Britain’s departure from the EU is all about the money and who controls it. Losing their sovereignty was the by-product of the effort. Their ability to control their own immigration, their own currency, their own laws were the result of the EU trying to centralize control of the money. Let’s not get lost in the idea of what is really at stake for FirstNet – at its core -- it’s all about who controls the money.
But whom am I other than…
Just some guy and a blog….