Telecom Alert, March 13, 2017 – Colorado FirstNet RFP; FirstNet Board Meeting; Telecom Act Rewrite Not a Priority; FCC Investigates AT&T 911 Outage; 800 MHz Freeze at US-Mexico Border;
Colorado to Release Public Safety LTE RFP for FirstNet Opt-Out Plan
Colorado plans to release a public safety LTE Request for Proposal in late March or early April. The RFP is intended to provide details about Colorado’s possible First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) opt-out scenario. Brian Shepherd, Colorado’s broadband program manager, explained to MissionCritical Communications that the objective is to “provide as thorough of an analysis as possible when it comes to the ultimate decision to opt-in/out of the FirstNet plan.” The State believes the best way to achieve this objective is to provide an option to which the FirstNet plan may be compared. The FirstNet contract is expected to be awarded this month, which means initial review of the draft plan could begin as early as June.
FirstNet Board Meeting
The FirstNet Board and Board Committees will convene an open public teleconference and webinar Combined Board Committees and Board meeting on March 14, 2017. The meeting will convene from 1-3 pm, and will be closed to the public from 2:05 to 2:35 pm.
Rewrite of Telecom Act Not a Congressional Priority
Standing in for House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), David Redl, Chief Counsel to the Subcommittee, stated last week that a comprehensive re-write of the Telecom Act is not a priority for 2017. In remarks before the Federal Communications Bar Association, Redl explained that the Subcommittee will advance amendments to the Act on which consensus is readily achievable. Thus, significant revisions to the 2015 Open Internet Order likely will originate at the FCC, if at all.
FCC Investigating AT&T 911 Outage
Last week, law enforcement entities in multiple states, including Florida and Texas reported issues with AT&T wireless customers attempting to call 911. The outage lasted for approximately an hour, with AT&T announcing Wednesday evening that service had been restored. The following day, FCC Chairman Pai announced an investigation into the outage. Lisa Fowlkes, Acting Chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, stated that the Commission “will fully investigate this outage and determine the root cause and its impact.”
FCC Extends 800 MHz Freeze Along US-Mexico Border
The FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released a Public Notice, extending the freeze on new 800 MHz applications along the US-Mexico border. The freeze preserves vacant channels needed for licensees to retune their systems in accordance with 800 MHz rebanding.