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.

Kari’s Law 911 legislation reintroduced in Senate, House
Kari’s Law legislation that would require direct dialing for 911 calls made on multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) frequently used by hotels, offices and other enterprises has been reintroduced in the 115th Congress, with bills being introduced again in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate during the past week.
FirstNet officials outline vision for organization’s testing operations in Colorado lab
FirstNet’s new laboratory will conduct testing to ensure that core public-safety devices, network features, capabilities and services will meet the reliability and performance requirements of first responders, although details will not be revealed until the nationwide contractor award is made, according to FirstNet officials.
Intelligence leaders outline challenges associated with responding to foreign cyberthreats during Senate hearing
Addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities should be a priority for the new administration, but the rapidly-changing cyber environment makes it difficult to assess blame for foreign-led cyberthreats and take actions that will deter future attacks, intelligence leaders and senators said today during a committee hearing on the subject.
Alabama changes RFP deadline for public-safety LTE network to Jan. 31
​Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) officials decide that vendors wanting to build a statewide public-safety LTE radio access network (RAN) must submit proposals by Jan. 31, as opposed to the previous plan of waiting until after FirstNet announces the contractor for its nationwide public-safety broadband network.
Mexico threatens suit against Rivada Networks, which cites deposition in alleging Red Compartida improprieties
Mexican government officials threaten to sue Rivada Networks for allegations made after the company secured a consultant’s deposition that outlined several questionable actions in the development of the Red Compartida procurement, as well as a statement that the winning Altan consortium bid is “essentially a photocopy” of a supposedly confidential business plan created for the Mexican government.
Airbus DS Communications remains for sale after more than two years
LMR and 911 solutions provider Airbus DS Communications remains on the selling block more than two years after its international parent firm—Airbus Group—announced plans to divest itself of Airbus DS Communications and other global public-safety-communications assets in the fall of 2014, according to a company official.

“I have no update on the sale of the company,” Airbus DS Communications CEO Bob Freinberg said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.

Arizona delays RFP submission deadline to March 30
Arizona changes to March 30 the deadline for vendors to submit bids to its request for proposals to build and operate a public-safety LTE radio access network (RAN) that would exist only if Arizona’s governor decides to opt out of the nationwide FirstNet buildout next year.
Hytera Communications offers $92 million cash to buy Sepura 2
UPDATED WITH CORRECT OFFER VALUE: China-based Hytera Communications announces that it has offered $92 million to buy Sepura, a TETRA manufacturer based in the United Kingdom (UK), in an all-cash transaction that is expected to close during the first quarter of 2017, according to the companies.
Rivada claims Altan won Mexico's Red Compartida award ‘through improper and perhaps criminal means’ 2
A South Carolina federal court this week cleared the path for Rivada Networks to depose Richard Keith, a South Carolina consultant whose testimony is expected to support Rivada’s allegations that the winning Altan consortium bid for the Mexico government’s Red Compartida network was prepared in violation of Mexican law.
FirstNet preparing network policies for nationwide contractor, opt-out states
FirstNet’s technical staff has established a draft set of network policies that will be followed throughout the United States, whether the radio access network (RAN) is deployed by FirstNet’s nationwide contractor or by opt-out states, FirstNet officials said today.
Potomac Spectrum Partners places TETRA order with PowerTrunk amid Hytera-Sepura uncertainty
Potomac Spectrum Partners (PSP) orders TETRA equipment and engineering expertise for U.S. network deployments from PowerTrunk, which is awaiting word whether its parent company Sepura will be bought by fellow LMR manufacturer Hytera Communications.
Hytera Communications gets another week to consider bid for Sepura
China-based Hytera Communications receives its second weeklong extension to contemplate a possible offer for United Kingdom (UK)-based LMR manufacturer Sepura, The new deadline is Dec. 16.
Motorola Solutions acquires Cyfas Systems assets geared for European emergency call centers
Motorola Solutions announces its purchase of the Mobile Assets Communications Systems (MACS) and related Integrated Communications Control System (ICCS) products from United Kingdom-based holding company Cyfas Systems that are expected to help European emergency-call centers transition to next-generation platforms.
PSCR announces $30 million program for research initiatives in six areas, including mission-critical voice
Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) announces a federal funding opportunity (FFO) that will provide a maximum of $30 million to fund research projects designed to accelerate innovation in six key technology areas, including mission-critical voice, public-safety analytics and resilient systems.

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