Donny Jackson

Urgent Communications

Donny Jackson is editor of Urgent Communications magazine. Before joining UC in 2002, he covered telecommunications for four years as a freelance writer and as news editor for Telephony magazine. Prior to that, he worked for suburban newspapers in the Dallas area, serving as editor-in-chief for the Irving News and the Las Colinas Business News.

FirstNet allows more time for public-notice responses, announces plans for Industry Day series
Stakeholders wanting to give input to FirstNet about its public notice regarding “opt-out” states will have an extra week—until April 20—to submit responses, in accordance with numerous request made since the proceeding was initiated earlier this month, according to FirstNet officials.
Motorola Solutions: Dane Windsor demonstrates collaboration of APX 8000, LEX L10 devices
Dane Windsor, business development manager and technical sales consultant for Motorola Solutions, demonstrates how the new APX 8000 P25 portable and the LEX L10 handheld LTE device can be used in collaboration to improve communications for a public-safety user.
Harris: Todd Perdieu discusses features of new XG-15 P25 radio
Todd Perdieu, Harris' terminal product manager for RF communications, talks about the company's new XG-15 portable radio, which is designed to provide public-service workers with reliable access to a P25 network at a price point that is lower than a full-featured public-safety P25 radio.
JVCKENWOOD: Kentaro Abe showcases company's biometrics solution
Kentaro Abe, product manager for JVCKENWOOD, demonstrates how the company's biometrics solution can help incident commanders monitor the on-scene health of responders. The solution is expected to be commercially available this summer.
Senate Commerce Committee approves markup for bill to extend positive-train-control deadline by five years
​Members of the Senate Commerce Committee approve the markup of a bill that would extend the deadline for affected rail companies to implement positive-train-control (PTC) technology until Dec. 31, 2020, instead of the current deadline that would require implementation by the end of this year.
FirstNet board does not vote on proposed draft RFP, will meet again in the 'very near future'
​Expressing a desire to ensure that the draft request for proposal (RFP) “right” before releasing it, FirstNet board members say they will revisit the document during a meeting in the "very near future” to address remaining issues—specifically some financial aspects of the proposed nationwide public-safety broadband network.
FirstNet finance committee delays vote to recommend draft RFP ‘for a few weeks’
FirstNet board member tomorrow will not vote to approve the complete draft request for proposal (RFP), as many had hoped. Instead, FirstNet’s finance committee today opted against voting to recommend the proposed draft RFP until staff members can address a few lingering business-plan questions at another meeting “in a few weeks,” according to Tim Bryan, chairman of FirstNet’s finance committee.
NTIA releases second phase of planning grants as FirstNet identifies data for states to collect
States and territories can use $58 million in planning grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to gather data in their jurisdictions regarding their first responders’ needs for coverage, capacity and other key functionalities from FirstNet’s nationwide public-safety broadband network, NTIA and FirstNet announce.
FirstNet should not rely on state and local governments as key network-infrastructure partners, Mirgon says 2
State and local governments are not reliable enough to be major infrastructure partners for the nationwide public-safety broadband network being built by FirstNet, according to Richard Mirgon, a consultant and former president of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO).
Beverly Hills PD: Ronald Derderian outlines benefits of Motorola Solutions' APX 8000 to users, radio shop
Ronald Derderian, an officer in the Beverly Hills police department, explains the reason for his department's excitement for Motorola Solutions' APX 8000, an all-band portable radio in a small form factor that features high-quality audio and Wi-Fi connectivity, which enables speedy software updates.
Kenwood USA: Dave Brandkamp highlights flexibility of new NX-5000 series of portables, mobiles
Dave Brandkamp, eastern region sales manager for Kenwood USA, outlines the capabilities of the company's new NX-5000 series of portable and mobile radios. With the ability to operate in P25 Phase I or Phase II, as well as NEXEDGE analog and digital modes, NX-5000 series radios can be useful tools for entities seeking a technology migration path and/or an interoperability solution.
Firefighters’ union claims of RF dangers jeopardizes LA-RICS public-safety LTE project 8
Complaints from a firefighters union that radio-frequency (RF) emissions from LTE sites being installed at several Los Angeles-area fire stations are a health hazard could derail the regional public-safety LTE system, according to an official with the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS), which is building the network.

LA-RICS has reduced the number of LTE sites in its planned deployment from 232 to 177, according to LA-RICS Executive Director Pat Mallon.

Texas: Lesia Dickson talks about state's online FirstNet course offering
Lesia Dickson, outreach and education coordinator for the Texas Public Safety Broadband Program, discusses the state's online-education initiative that is designed to inform stakeholders about FirstNet, which is tasked with building a nationwide public-safety broadband network for first responders. Although created for FirstNet stakeholders in the state of Texas, the information is applicable to anyone in the country.
Rivada Networks: Peter Tenerelli explains proposal to let FirstNet generate revenue from excess capacity on its LTE network
Peter Tenerelli, director of technology adoption for Rivada Networks, describes how the company's dynamic-spectrum-arbitrage (DSA) technology and associated auction market would let commercial operators bid for excess capacity on the FirstNet system, which can generate revenue that ultimately will lower the fees that public-safety entities would pay to use the dedicated LTE network.
FirstNet system will support non-mission-critical voice from Day 1, officials say
​LAS VEGAS—FirstNet officials yesterday offered insights about progress toward building the much-anticipated nationwide public-safety broadband network, including a commitment that the system will support voice calls from the outset.

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