New Andrew Seybold, Inc. Online Publication
Advocates for Public Safety; First Issue Challenges FCC Position on D Block
Santa Barbara, California, July 6, 2010 – Wireless Industry Analyst/Consultant Andrew M. Seybold has challenged a recently published Federal Communications Commission white paper entitled “The Public Safety Nationwide Interoperable Broadband Network: A New Model for Capacity,” with a 24-page paper of his own that anchors the inaugural issue of Public Safety Advocate, his new free on-line publication.
“This is not the first techno-political issue that has faced the Public Safety community, and it will not be the last,” Seybold said. “The decision to launch this online publication has been greeted with enthusiastic response from many quarters, confirming our judgment that the community was in serious need of a watchdog for its interests, one that could take a ‘first responder’ position with regard to its issues. The immediacy and accessibility of Internet publication makes it the ideal vehicle for doing so and we encourage anyone with interest in these issues to visit www.andrewseybold.com to create a subscriber profile.”
Subscribers to existing Andrew Seybold, Inc. publications can use the Contact Us feature to request the addition of Public Safety Advocate to their profile.
According to Seybold, discussion of the D Block capacity conflict represents an ideal launch point for the Public Safety Advocate as an ongoing forum devoted to the interests and requirements of the public safety community and the technology sectors impacting it.
The FCC paper seeks to justify re-auction of the10 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum comprising the D Block and Seybold contends that it should not be auctioned for commercial purposes, but should be permanently allocated to Public Safety in order to provide for existing everyday needs in the top 100 markets as well as for the kinds of emergencies potentially faced by the public safety community at large.
The D Block had no takers in the initial 700 MHz spectrum auction and would increase Public Safety’s block to 20 MHz, which Seybold feels is an appropriate amount and which, being adjacent to the existing Public Safety 10 MHz block, could be built out in the most economical manner. The FCC’s proposed solution – allowing priority-based roaming across the commercialized 700 MHz cellular spectrum from the D Block-adjacent 10 MHz of assigned public safety spectrum – is a clumsy and potentially self-defeating compromise, he feels.
“If the D block is re-auctioned and the Public Safety community is short changed once again, it will only be a matter of a few years until it has to return to the FCC and Congress begging for additional spectrum, and after more years of delay perhaps the next FCC will find more spectrum for public safety but on yet another portion of the spectrum and causing needless increases in both network and device costs,” Seybold writes.
In all, Seybold cites 10 points of contention with the Capacity white paper, concluding that “…The D block is ideally suited to being combined with the public safety spectrum and the costs associated with building out 20 MHz of spectrum will be much less expensive than building out two 10 MHz bands located in different portions of the spectrum.
“Over the years, we have seen a continuing tug-of-war for resources, and Public Safety has consistently received the short end of the stick even though sufficient spectrum is fundamental to society’s well-being,” he said. “This has resulted in voice-dependent first-responder communications that not only lack interoperability, but lag far behind existing commercial capabilities in enabling delivery of voice, data and video over single network. This is shameful and the opportunity to influence this critical situation is a worthy cause for the Public Safety Advocate to take up in its inaugural issue.”