Directors for the Bay Area Regional Interoperable Communications Systems Authority (BayRICS) on Thursday are scheduled to consider a modified agreement with Motorola Solutions regarding the deployment of a private LTE network for San Francisco-area first responders, as part of a spectrum-lease agreement with FirstNet.
At the heart of the controversy surrounding efforts to release FirstNet board member Paul Fitzgerald’s e-mails related to the deployment of a nationwide broadband network for first responders is an apparent discrepancy in the law Congress passed that created FirstNet. Given this, federal lawmakers should revisit the matter and clarify their intent, so FirstNet can proceed with its mission.
On at least two occasions, information was provided under non-disclosure agreements, Fitzgerald says, adding that others shared information openly only because believed that the e-mails would be kept confidential. Story County, Iowa, wants to release the e-mails under its open-records law, but FirstNet Secretary Uzoma Onyeije maintains that exposing the e-mails publicly would have a “chilling effect” on future communications among board members.
Chief among them: Why did Fitzgerald–after being instructed by the Story County board of supervisors not to do so–release to the federal government FirstNet related e-mails before releasing them to the media outlet that had made an open-records request under Iowa state law?
Veteran private-equity investor and telecom investor Barry Boniface will fill the slot vacated by Bill Keever; while in telecom, Boniface was involved in several of the sector’s largest mergers, including BellSouth/AT&T, Cingular Wireless/AT&T Wireless and Sprint/Clearwire.