Do you believe the nationwide broadband network for first responders will meet all of the goals set by FirstNet Chairman Sam Ginn for coverage, reliability, performance and user costs?

No, politics eventually will cause the project to unravel.
41% (57 votes)
No, the economics simply don't work.
40% (55 votes)
Yes, but only if Congress approves additional funding beyond the current $7 billion threshold.
8% (11 votes)
Other (leave a comment)
6% (8 votes)
Yes, FirstNet has everything it needs to make this a reality, with proper public-private partnershps.
6% (8 votes)
Total voters: 139

Discuss this poll 18

Anonymous
on Apr 30, 2013

Recent public events have shined a spotlight on the inadequacies of the private carrier sytems and we are setting ourselves (Public Safety) for a major disappointment if we don't get our message across!!

Anonymous
on Apr 26, 2013

The State Governors weild way too much power here. Without adequate funding, the only path to success involves leveraging the fallow FN spectrum. "NFL Market" states will receive plenty of $$$ for theirs, but will rural states share in that largess? I don't think so...

Anonymous
on Apr 26, 2013

We cant even talk to another Fire Department nor the State Police have a County away Let across state lines,half of the time. Yes I agree there is the possibility, BUT, there is some serious issues that will have to work out first.

Anonymous
on Apr 26, 2013

We could potentially see a 95% outside and 75% inside coverage system in urban areas with a 70/50 coverage area in rural areas but the Ginn proposal sets the bar too high. We may have islands of PS-LTE and for that, the program is a fail.

Anonymous
on Apr 26, 2013

$7B is inadequate to build a national network. Only $2B is cash-in-hand, the balance to come from future spectrum sales which have yet to be announced.

PS has been slow to adopt to LTE due to the high recurring charges and we have yet to hear what the recurring charges will be for FN users.

Anonymous
on Apr 26, 2013

Will end up being a fiasco and you will end up with the have and have not's. The rural areas that don't have the funding will never benefit from it. Only the cities and large jurisdictions will be able to afford it. So nothing will change from where we are now.

Anonymous
on Apr 26, 2013

I'll make a broad statement ... every telecommunications co-worker ithat I've spoken with, knows the FistNet concept is a totally flawed. It has nothing to do what will and won't work. It has everything to do with trying to duplicate a massive infrastructure that already exists nationwide, without revenue producing income in the 100's billions to support it initially and moving forward. Executives who have seemed to forgotten Economics 101 or basic math, have been scammed and sold a bill of goods from two-way vendors who have absolutely no experience with telecom and want to sell some LTE hardware. Or their ability to lobby a naieve congress to make this happen. I think this ranks as one of the biggest scams perpetrated on the American public. With telecom carriers now migrating to LTE-Advanced to aggregate between bands, eliminating circuit switched calls in 5 years (Verizon) and converting that additional 20 MHz. to LTE, and technologies like 802.11u, you see the creation of huge IP clouds blanketing the country. That technology will offer true priority access by public safety. The D-block should have been auctioned off appropriately to increase that aggregation capacity. The inherent problem all along and still is, is the weakness of telecoms to keep their network infrastructure up during disaster. All the federal govt had to do was mandate and reallocate stolen 911 surcharges, providing the ability of telecoms to augment their backbones with Gbit microwave and emergency power at each site. Lets face it, if the public can't even call 911 during an emergency, how will public safety even know where to respond? Public Safety supporting FirstNet have their heads screwed on backwards. It's akin to wanting to build a highway adjacent to every existing highway in the country, just for use by emergency vehicles. This is why we have preemption in the form lights and sirens, only technology can do it 100% in a packet switched network/IP cloud. Did they build a whole separate telephone infrastructure just so people could call 911 when that came about? No! So why now? FirstNet has absolutely nothing to do with Interoperability either! There are not LMR radio channels here. We're talking data and connected telecom networks here. Since when do I have to be on the same phone network or Internet carrier to connect with another user? The retired police chief who started this mess might have had good intentions, but he was operating in the Stone Age of analog radio with no concept of how telecom functions. A regional switch at a typical wireless carrier is already at 100 Gbit/sec. capacity, yet only 5% of the handsets are LTE capable. The need for spectrum is going to explode because the demand for wireless video is huge. The 10MHz. swath of D-Block is a joke in comparison to reality and where this is all headed. To throw "any" money or effort at this concept is a waste in my professional opinion, and a waste of everyone's time. We need strong public safety advocates working in the telecoms who understand our needs and can give us what we want now ... nationwide without replicating what will be a dirt road or gully, leading to nowhere.

Anonymous
on Apr 25, 2013

I wonder why the rest of the board didn't agree with his point of view? A new wave of impartiality and transparency with the new GM? Doubtful. Such a heavy reliance on cellular for public safety, when it's been the most vulnerable and unreliable? Are the voices of the SWIC's and RECCWG's going to be heard? Who is pressuring the Commerce Committee to generate so much money? Wait, everyone's going to have come off the "T" band. Can we say, unfunded mandate?

Anonymous
on Apr 25, 2013

No. This make up was doomed from the beginning, loaded up with folks from the one company that will oversee so-called competitive bidding, and only a handful of PS people. The economics simply does not work. Not enough sites, cist estimates are unrealistic.

Anonymous
on Apr 25, 2013

Unless someone gives them a national treasury or two, it ain't gonna be a strole through the park.

Anonymous
on Apr 25, 2013

The notion of a public/private partnership when combined with teh present board makeup has disaster written all over it.
Firs Net needs the expertise from the private sector but NOT the service demands.
In addition, the present funding might get a network started, but can't possibly get natinwide coverage for all of public safety. Thus a multi phase approach must be put in place. Get a system to meet goals for a limited set of geography, however that is determined, and then iron out the bugs and do the next phase to increase coverage area.
but unlike the cell system roll out of old, the plan must include competing 100% coverage at some phase.
AND there needs to be a plan to initially compliment LMR, as this isn't going away any time soon.

Anonymous
on Apr 25, 2013

Many people are too quick to judge the effort, which is just getting off the ground. The rationale for having people who have built nationwide networks before take on the task is very clear, and from what I can see public safety has been involved every step of the way.

Anonymous
on Apr 25, 2013

No this will not work.
1) It is underfunded if you compare it with what the cell phone companies are planning to spend on their networks.
2) They will not be able to put this network across the US landscape. The for profit cell companies haven't been able to do that yet. Not only do you have to get the land, erect a tower and construct a building but you also have to provide power. You will get the "not in my backyard" but also not on our public lands without a full environmental impact statement/NEPA.
3) Who is going to maintain this network? Using what money?
4) As far as Private/Government partnerships who is going to govern safety, security and standards?
5) As has been reported the cell systems start to fail during a large incident. Are they actually planning all of these cells to handle that kind of traffic pattern?

Anonymous
on Apr 25, 2013

You need about 20 years yet before something like this is ready for public safety.
This has disaster written all over it.
When something goes wrong who will take the blame?
People are too fast to move to a digital system. My LTE drops my signal all of the time. How is this any different?

Anonymous
on Apr 25, 2013

The largest challenge that this group has is how much of the elephant are they going to try to eat? This process, in order to be beneficial for public safety, should be quickly engaged and the requirements should be initially minimized in order to leverage the benefits of the current networks in place. They should give themselves enough room to come back and negotiate for enhancements, etc., in the future. As it stands, no one in this country with a phone has any problem talking to someone else (if in range of a system). If a similar system can be quickly built and secured for PS, without complicating the design requirements and only providing operational requirements, then this will be successful. FirstNet needs to stay out of the weeds and just focus on operational requirements and change management roles. Everything else will fall into place including equipment (competitevly priced) and system availability. They cannot try to provide everything for everybody as a project scope goal to satisfy.

Anonymous
on Apr 25, 2013

Anonymous, I like your optimism! However, when you consider the technological hurdles, the politics, the iffy and yet to be hammered out terms for the public/private partnerships and the astronomical dollars it will take -- well beyond a measly $7 billion -- and add to that what we know from experience (i.e. the P25 pipedream that after 25+ years is still not a complete/mature standard), then pile on a heaping helping of Washington D.C. style dysfunctionality...there are way too many if's and but's in your statement, even in the most perfect of world's, for FirstNet to become a functional nationwide reality inside of 20 years, if that.

Anonymous
on Apr 25, 2013

No it won't work. Insufficient funding. Cannot be woven into public carrier network and deliver PS mission critical reliability. Ginn is a carrier with little sensitivity to PS realities.

Anonymous
on Apr 15, 2013

I think any of the limited choices provided here could happen. With a cooperative spirit and realistic expectations, and a small dash of safe compromise - it can definitely be a success. Public Safety will have to think more collectively than individually with this system. It can be a huge success - but some of the Princes will need to think beyond just their kingdom (jurisdiction). DoD Joint Warfighting was not an easy pill to swallow at the Pentagon... but it works and the result shows that by working together we achieve better success. Also, less money is wasted.

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