So here we have it, FirstNet gets to move forward with its award to AT&T, a decision made by an Obama appointed judge. Not that anyone doubted the outcome. Now the real issues start to be considered and the battlefields start to get prepped. I spent a lot of time meeting, and presenting to, every State in the Nation, and the six territories. When it comes to the Opt-Out solution and the Public Private Partnership model – a model I developed some time ago – I ascertained a lot of the attitudes when it came to the impact on the “influencers” and what they thought about the FirstNet and the AT&T. Those “influencers” will be the ones that make the decision for the actual “decision maker” – the Governor of their respected State.
As I illustrated some time ago in an article about Red States vs. Blue States, and an article about the nationalistic approach being pushed by FirstNet, there is a fundamental stance between conservative leaning States and their “take nothing from the federal government” way of life. For the last 5 years I made a lot of presentations about the State Opt-Out and how the State can use its own P3. An inherent quality of that task I was able to count 37 States that had the conservative viewpoint. That’s just the conservative viewpoint, it doesn’t touch those States, Blue and Red, that just don’t want to have anything to do with any carrier let alone AT&T – especially when giving the commercial carrier “their spectrum”. But, soon we will see where everyone stands. I’m not saying this just because I think the FirstNet plan is flawed, but because it was fact and overwhelming present in all my discussions.
I heard everything from “not my spectrum” to “the feds can't even make a website”. I even heard from a bunch of Governor appointees that FirstNet was pitching a line that “the State would not have to pay for anything”. What is your view point? The fact remains that, in my opinion, the State and its employees, its citizens, and its Public Safety community are better suited for an Opt-Out. Has anyone ever seen the Federal Government come in and build a complex broadband solution before? How about an LMR network? A Healthcare website? Anything?
It doesn’t matter who FirstNet partners with, the fact remains that the entire solution will face hardened representatives and elected officials who report to their own voter base. Given the nature of the current political playing field, the cost cutting, and the reorganization of federal programs, it will either be a long drawn out battle -- or quick and final ending. This is a battle that FirstNet has not discussed. The only topics that came close to the discussion were quickly kicked down the road for a later date to address. Then again, the new head of the Department of Commerce may put a stop to this anyway. It’s not hard to see that it’s been more than 5 years since FirstNet began and we still have nothing to show for it. In the commercial markets we would have had a half dozen States done by now.
In the end, we are just getting things started, so let the games begin. Opt-In you pay; Opt-Out you gain.
Just some guy and a blog………