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.

AT&T, FirstNet officials shed light on near-term implementation efforts
​FirstNet and AT&T officials have long stated that public-safety agencies within “opt-in” states immediately can take advantage of priority access across the AT&T network, but even existing AT&T customers first need to subscribe to a FirstNet plan to realize the priority functionality, according to AT&T.
Iowa becomes fifth state to announce FirstNet ‘opt-in’ decision
​Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announces that she has accepted the FirstNet deployment plan for her state, making Iowa the fifth state to “opt-in” to the plan for a nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN), which will be built, maintained and upgraded by AT&T during the next 25 years.
Pennsylvania becomes ninth state to seek RAN bids as a FirstNet alternative
Pennsylvania issues a request for proposal (RFP) seeking bids to build and maintain a statewide LTE radio access network (RAN) to serve public-safety users in the state, if its governor decides to pursue the “opt-out” alternative to accepting FirstNet’s deployment plan for the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN).
Arkansas, Kentucky governors make FirstNet ‘opt-in’ decisions
Governors for Arkansas and Kentucky announce that their states accept the FirstNet deployment plans, increasing the total of “opt-in” states to four for the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) that will be built and maintained by AT&T.
Wyoming governor makes FirstNet 'opt-in' announcement
Wyoming announces that Gov. Matt Mead will accept the FirstNet’s deployment plan—to be executed by AT&T—making Wyoming the second state to express its intent to “opt-in” to the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) plan.
Virginia becomes first state to “opt-in” to FirstNet system, ceremony slated for today
Virginia became the first state to accept the FirstNet state plan that allows AT&T to proceed with the buildout of the 700 MHz nationwide public-safety broadband network within its borders after Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed the letter of intent yesterday.
AT&T has significant incentives to ‘get it right’ for public safety via FirstNet, company official says 1
AT&T has multiple financial and long-term-business reasons to provide public-safety agencies with a solution they are willing to adopt as part of the carrier’s deal to serve as FirstNet’s nationwide partner for the next 25 years, a company official said yesterday.
UK public-safety LTE network targeted for completion in 2020, with LMR providing early direct-mode solution
First responders in the United Kingdom (UK) are slated to complete the communications transition from the Airwave TETRA system to the LTE-based Emergency Services Network (ESN) in 2020, although LMR technology likely will continue to be used when off-network voice communications are needed, according to a UK official.
FCC maintains possibility of 6.25 kHz mandate with denial of waiver request 1
LMR radio manufacturers must continue to build subscriber radios that are capable of operating on 6.25 kHz channels—or equivalent—below 512 MHz, the FCC rules in denying a waiver request from the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA).
FirstNet officials reiterate MCPTT plans for March 2019, hope to accelerate firefighter-location solutions
​FirstNet staff present board members with a new roadmap for the organization that includes a technological commitment to support mission-critical-push-to-talk (MCPTT) technology across the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) by March 2019.
Motorola Solutions’ new LTE handheld device certified by AT&T, is ‘FirstNet-ready’ 1
​Motorola Solutions announces the availability of the LEX F10, a durable public-safety LTE handheld device that has been certified by AT&T and is “FirstNet-ready,” supporting operation on FirstNet’s 700 MHz Band 14 spectrum and AT&T’s commercial spectrum bands, according to a Motorola Solutions official.
Michigan chooses Rivada Networks as top 'opt-out' vendor alternative to FirstNet state plan
​An evaluation team for the state of Michigan selected Rivada Networks’ bid as the best submitted in response to a request for proposals (RFP) seeking a vendor to construct and maintain a public-safety LTE radio access network (RAN), if the state chooses to pursue the “opt-out” alternative to FirstNet’s state plan.
AT&T exec says 5G deployments could ‘scale’ in 2019, discusses importance of FirstNet rollout
​A decision by the 3GPP standards body could accelerate the potential standards-based, commercial 5G deployments by several months, with scaled 5G rollouts for fixed and mobile happening within two years, according to an AT&T executive.
FCC approves order outlining criteria for review of FirstNet opt-out applications
FCC commissioners unanimously approve a report and order that outlines the criteria that will be used by the agency in its interoperability review of applications by states choosing to pursue the “opt-out” alternative to FirstNet and nationwide contractor AT&T building the LTE radio access network (RAN) within their borders.
PSCR: Fidel Liberal explains how mission-critical open platform can bolster development of public-safety solutions
Fidel Liberal, an assistant professor at the University of Basque Country in Spain, describes the planned mission-critical open platform—usable by any developer wanting to build public-safety LTE solutions—that will be established with a $1.259 million research program grant from the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

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