Introduction to FirstNet An Update on the Public Safety Broadband Network

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EM
Forum Presentation


March

27
,
201
3


Introduction to FirstNet

An Update on the Public Safety Broadband Network


Kevin McGinnis, MPS, EMT
-
P

First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board of Directors

Vice Chair, Public Safety Spectrum Trust

Chief/CEO
, North East Mobile Health Services


Amy Sebring

EIIP Moderator


This transcript

contains references to slides which
can
be downloaded from
http://www.emforum.org/vforum/FirstNet/Fi
rstNetUpdate.pdf

A
video
recording of th
e live session

is available at
http://www.emforum.org/pub/eiip/lm130327.wmv


MP3 format at

ht
tp://www.emforum.org/pub/eiip/lm
130327
.mp3

or in MP4

format at

http://www.emforum.org/pub/eiip/lm
130327
.mp4





[Welcome / Introduction]


Amy Sebring:

Good morning/afternoon everyone

and welcome to EMForum.org. I am Amy
Sebring and will serve as your Host and Moderator today and we are very glad you could join
us.


Today’s topic is an update on the Public Safety Broadband Network, which we first addressed
back in 2009. Activity to mo
ve this forward has picked up quite a bit in the past year or so.
FirstNet was established within NTIA to implement an LTE network nationwide and a Board of
Directors
was

appointed. But most of all, we wanted to do this program now while the
opportunity
exists for first responders and emergency managers to provide input on the network
implementation.


[Slide 1]


Now it is my pleasure to welcome back today’s speaker: Kevin McGinnis is a member of the
Board of Directors of FirstNet representing the first r
esponder community. He has spent nearly
40 years in emergency medical services, and advises several professional associations on
technology issues.


Please see today’s Background Page for further biographical details and links to several related
resources
. In particular I would like to point out the link to the Public Safety Advisory
Committee list, which includes the names of the individuals representing national associations
that have been invited to participate.


Welcome back Kevin, and thank you very
much for taking the time to be with us today. I now
turn the floor over to you to start us off please.


[Presentation]


Kevin McGinnis:
Thank you very much, Amy. It is a pleasure to be back with you. Forty
years

it is actually only thirty
-
nine

no need to

make me feel prematurely old in EMS. It is my
pleasure to be here today addressing this group from the perspective of the FirstNet Board

a
pleasure I did not have the last time I was here.


I want to do a couple of things today to put this all in perspec
tive. First of all let me start by
saying the FirstNet Board activity is only about six months old and we have been apparently
endowed in some people’s minds as having prodigious capabilities to instantly create a system
and in other people’s minds as mov
ing too fast to do so.


We are probably striking the right balance in moving ahead in building this network. What I
want to do is give folks an idea of why FirstNet and broadband from one public safety user’s
perspective with discipline from EMS because th
at is the pond I swim in and explain where we
plan to go as a national EMS community using broadband.


Then I want to transition into a little bit about FirstNet and where it has come from, where it is
today and where we are headed with it and what the cap
abilities will be. Then we will have the
opportunity for questions and answers.


[
Slide 2]


You may recognize these folks. Usually about half of our audience does who were trouncing
across our
television

screens in the early seventies on the show “Emerge
ncy”. That show gave
rise to our first look at what paramedics are, at what lifesaving capabilities EMS has the
potential to have in the field beyond
just
being a horizontal taxi cab.


Since then from the seventies until today, about forty years

and I h
ave grown up with modern
EMS

we have advanced our capabilities tremendously so we really do lifesaving things at the
scene. One thing that hasn’t changed for us in that time is the sophistication of the
communication system.


Basically what we have dealt
with and what these people are using in these pictures are what
we use today by way of
V
HF and
U
HF. We have added on 700 or 800 megahertz
communications but it is all narrowband for the most part

basically 96 percent voice and
maybe 3 or 4 percent data fo
r telemetry and other limited uses.


In that time recognizing those limitations and seeing that there were a number of technologies
that exist today in hospitals and other settings we are not able to use in the
field because of the
limitations of narrowban
d communications, about five or six years ago I started holding expert
panels and focus groups on communications issues.


I was basically asking what kind of technology we wanted to have in the field five or ten years
from now and what communication capabi
lities and infrastructure, bandwidth and the like that
we are going to need to support that technology. What I am going to do is give you the
overview of what the answers to those sessions were over the years and
then
a few specific
examples.


[Slide 3]


As an overview, there were four major needs identified. To folks in EM in particular
these are
buzzwords but in EMS they are virtually unknown as operational terms. Situational
awareness

to us, having a perfect knowledge of the resources in the response
area you are
going into on your next patient call and knowledge of the events going on around you which
may interfere with you successfully completing that call or may interfere with resources you
need because they are dedicated somewhere else.


Common ope
rating picture is especially important for EMS because every patient call we have
has more than one set of players. It is often that first responders who get to the scene

the
ambulance gets there, the ambulance crew, an incoming
helicopter crew, and extri
cation crew
for things like motor vehicle crashes and

other extrication

situations. There is always the doctor
at the hospital that will give us orders or monitor what we are doing and wants to know when we
are going to be there.


They all need their own
situational awareness but they also need to share a common set of
expectations about what is going to happen to my patient in the next five, ten, fifteen or twenty
minutes so that we get it all right and clinical decision making is right and the patient ge
ts what
they need.


We also have an issue in EMS
,

and police and fire as well
,

of sequential processing. That
means that from the moment a tone goes off to send us to a call we get pieces of information
which address our picture of what we are going to fi
nd at a scene or what we need to do at a
scene. Every time we get a new piece of information from getting the tone, jumping in the
ambulance,
getting

out of the barn, heading to the route

the new information may be that it is
not the scene we thought it w
as.


It is located differently. There is construction between you and the scene. You will need to
route around it. We have new patient information and it looks like they are in bad shape

that
type of thing. What happens is we get information and change

our plan
,

get information and
change our plan,

get information and change our plan.
Oftentimes it seems we are wandering
our way through a call

not really having the complete picture until we
actually
start to get there
and it all becomes clear to us w
hat our resources are and the patient’s condition.


Unfortunately by that time it is too late to make some decisions that might have cut short that
patient episode and gotten us to a better place. It would be better if we could get a lot of
different infor
mation at the same time. That is parallel processing

information and also be able
to send out information that we are processing from the scene on patient condition and whatnot
to those who need to have it so they can add it to their situational awareness

and the general
common operating picture of everybody.


Parallel processing is an important thing. As I said at the outset we have an inability to adopt
technology that is available today. We are going to explore some of those pieces that will
definitel
y benefit our patients.


[Slide 4]


First example

I get

to my ambulance base to sign on duty and I have a blank slate when I
walk through the door. I don’t know much of anything going on in my response area. I’ll start
off by finding out who my partner i
s. We’ll tackle an inspection of the ambulances for
equipment and supplies being up to date and for the electronics and vehicle equipment
working

that sort of thing. That takes forty
-
five minutes for two ambulances.


Then we want to check and see what ho
spitals are open and taking patients, whether the
trauma center is taking patients, whether the helicopter is in operation today and whether the
ambulance service next door, which is a volunteer service has a paramedic on or if I am the
paramedic for them
as well today.


Things like that can take upward of one and a half hours to two hours to collect all that
information from start to go. Even before that forty
-
five minute inspection of the ambulance is
over we have our first call. We are going out with

incomplete information,
incomplete
operating
picture, and
incomplete
situational awareness.


Picture this instead

we walk into the base and we see a picture like you see before you which
represents our response area for Ridgeway EMS 1

our ambulance. Imme
diately when we
bring that up on our smartphone or tou
ghbook in the ambulance or the PC on the desk, we
immediately have a picture of what is going on in the response area that is described as the
response area geographically.


Immediately we know, looking

down at the left
-
hand corner for instance, the inventory and
status of the vehicles are both in the greens. If something was wrong

if a Band Aid had
walked out of that ambulance and triggered an RIFD signal

that would be red. We would click
on that and
see what was missing and put it back in. It is a lot less than forty
-
five minutes to do
that.


All the other icons on here either display something instantaneously that tells you about that,
like the hospital that is on divert, the helicopters

one is avai
lable and one is not. You can click
on it and find out what the story is there. All of that is real time information. If you don’t see the
face of it on the screen you can hit the icon and dig deeper for more information about those
folks.


That is one
way
we have

just

immediately, by being able to parallel process information on one
screen in real time, give us a picture and save us one and a half to two hours

in five minutes
I’m ready to go out the door on my first call with great situational awareness

and presumably all
the other players
monitoring

the same multi
-
source information gives them the same common
operating picture for us all to share.


[Slide 5]


Here is

another example. You have probably heard of “The Golden Hour”. It has been well
debat
ed and somewhat debunked but it is something we hold to just to explain how time critical
conditions can be affected by faster and more appropriate response. Essentially the golden
hour is the time from the moment you suffer the injury that is going to ki
ll you until the time the
surgeon can get in and fix that injury so that it doesn’t kill you.


Whether it is an hour or two hours or thirty minutes

that is the issue of debate. One thing we
know that it is not

twenty minutes for us to discover the car cra
sh happened that injured you,
twenty minutes for me to go out in the ambulance and discover you really are injured and life
threatened, ten minutes to load you into the ambulance, thirty minutes to get you to the local
hospital, two hours to play around at

the local hospital before they determine you need to go to
a bigger hospital and forty minutes to get you there.


In today’s era in most places
in

the country with organized trauma systems and helicopters that
cuts it down quite a bit. You cut out the lo
cal hospital for the most part. Still, the golden hour
does not equate to twenty minutes to discover the
car
crash happened, twenty minutes for me
to go out in my ambulance and discover we need to call the helicopter, forty minutes for the
helicopter to g
et here and forty minutes for the helicopter to get back. It still doesn’t compute.


Those time critical events are not limited to trauma. We now know that heart attacks, stroke
and other conditions have very specific windows of opportunity to fix the pa
tient so the patient
doesn’t suffer in the long term with disabilities or die.


[Slide 6]


Let’s look at the alternative. Instead we get an alert. Once that car crashes

OnStar or similar
concierge services can send out a data burst. That data burst prov
ides information on exactly
where the car is, the occupancy, the forces acting on that car and it
basically
gives you a good
picture of what happened in the car and what you might anticipate finding there.


[Slide 7]


In fact advanced automatic crash notif
ication will actually allow you to build in predictors of
serious injury as in this screen. When you have that predictor

92 percent probability of
injury

all the resources around you which you want to have a common operating picture with
can set up protoc
ols.


For instance, i
f that happens, the helicopter can say that if they get the notice within the first
couple of minutes after a crash they will send a helicopter crew the helicopter, start the
helicopter and perhaps even send it up. The trauma center m
ay get ready to go. Extrication
may automatically go. Then you have a wonderful parallel processing of information going to
multiple participants in this call.


[Slide 8]


By the time I
leave the ambulance barn to set out this is what we have saved

we ha
ve saved
the twenty minutes of discovering the crash happened that injured the patient. We saved the
need for me to go out to the car crash and verify that it was a bad crash. All the resources are
en route. That is going to significantly cut down in ou
r example about forty minutes worth of
time in this event.


When I roll out of the barn instead of wondering what is going to happen next I have a ton of
information here about all the folks that are responding to this and what my situational
awareness is
for this.
Plus w
e have access to DOT computers to get up to date directions to
the scene so we don’t run into construction
and we know we have the road lights and stop lights
on the road ahead of us under our control. Some cars ahead of us know we are co
ming and
some don’t so we have to be careful.


[Slide 9]


Another capability when we are all heading to that scene

those who do extrication can do just
in time training because we know what kind of car it is. They can pull up on the screen a guide
to tell

them the best place to cut into the car to get the patient out most effectively and what
kinds of dangers to look forward to when they do that.


[Slide 10]


Last example of my extended examples

at the scene, some more parallel processing

we
hop out of the

ambulance today, the process of going up to and looking at the initial car and
then maybe going on to another car

but in that initial car, assessing the first patient, getting
information, communicating with them, figuring out what is going on and then co
mmunicating
that patient to the hospital or the incoming helicopter can take five or ten minutes.


[Slide 11]


Let’s look at a different model. Instead I hop out of the ambulance, I put on
my

video camera

it’s a hat
-
cam

that video in real time starts goin
g into patient database number one. I start
talking into a lip microphone dictating what I’m seeing about the car and the patient. That is
being translated into a text file and going into patient database number two and being kept.


We walk up and I ha
ve in my hand a stand
-
off vital signs monitor

and go zip

if you remember
the Star Trek tri
-
corder

those you as old as I will know that I’ve just taken the vital signs of the
patient without touching him. That goes into patient database number three. I ta
ke a playing
card deck size monitor and put it on the patient’s chest and those additional vital signs and EKG
go into patient database number three.


Lastly I either grab a chip off the patient in something they are wearing or I go into the regional
medic
al record repository and I download the patient’s pertinent medical record into patient
database number four.

It looks like this.


[Slide 12]

http://www.emforum.org/vforum/FirstNet/EMSvideo
.wmv


[Slide 13]


You remember how I said that process would take five to ten minutes. That exercise

and
we’ve simulated it several times

takes sixty seconds to populate those four
patient
databases.
Now in sixty seconds the hospital can access those da
tabases, the incoming helicopter can or
anybody authorized can do that. We have just cut a good ten minutes off of scene time per
patient by being able to parallel process data like that.


Some other technologies that have been identified in those groups

I’ve talked about have been
two
-
way video, probably not so much for urban applications because things happen fast in
urban areas but if you picture it in a rural area where you have a basic EMT as opposed to a
paramedic who only does a handful of calls a
year and gets stuck on a

90 minute

transfer of a
difficult patient to the city hospital when the helicopter can’t fly

the patient starts to turn a color
the EMT hasn’t seen before

wouldn’t it be nice to have a virtual doctor in the back of the
ambulance to

look at that patient and provide advice?


That is a need in the future. Community paramedicine is an up and coming deal where EMS

folks are

going to be providing primary care but again there aren’t going to be physician’s
assistance in the rural areas in

particular so they are going to be using wireless telemedicine to
communicate with the rural health center. It lets the doctor see the patient and the PA see the
patient and that sort of thing. The list goes on and I’m not going to go into those.


[Slid
e 14]


We have identified technologies to monitor 21, 42, or 63 patients at a time using a smartphone.
We use the same technology to monitor firefighters going into a burning building, and on and
on and on.


[Slide 15]


Three dozen different technologies
have been identified to my knowledge fro
m the processes.
The one thing

that I have said up until now when I’ve done these presentations over the last
several years is we can’t do that with the communication systems we have to today because
narrowband won’
t support these applications.


Now my tune has changed because as of this last year we have FirstNet

a broadband system
for public safety use exclusively, including EMS. One of the things for those of you who are
aware of FirstNet and what was granted

we
had about seven billion dollars to develop the
network. That sounds like a lot of money. It is certainly more than I have in my checking
account personally.

It is not to develop a nationwide network, essentially a Verizon, AT&T or T
-
Mobile of public safe
ty as it were.


One of the things that is going to make this successful are applications like this. When we get
systems out there using applications like this and the Kevin McGinnises of the world go down to
see them in operation I am going to come back

to my city and say to my city council
or my state
house
that I have to have these applications for EMS. It will save patient lives.


We have to invest in FirstNet in our state. We are not going to depend on federal dollars in the
long run to make this h
appen. That is just a shot in the arm.


[Slide 16]


Let’s take a look at FirstNet
. In 2006 a concept of having essentially a Verizon

or AT&T for
public safety exclusive use was broached by Morgan O’Brian who ha
d been the head of Sprint
Nextel
for awhile

and Harlan
McKuen in the public safety realm had come together with the idea
of a public and private partnership where public safety could partner with AT&T or Verizon or
some other provider.


Bandwidth for broadband would be given to public safety and th
ey could share that with the
private provider. The provider would provide up
-
to
-
date state of the art technology and the
infrastructure to make this thing happen. Public safety would share its bandwidth with the
private provider so they would get some be
nefit out of it.


The FCC

very much

bought into the concept and developed it further and came out with a
proposed auction of bandwidth in the 700 megahertz bandwidth to this public safety broadband
network. Unfortunately for a number of reasons I won’t go

into today, the necessary bandwidth
auction that was held in 2008 failed so th
at private public

partnership did not end up working.

What do we do next? We still have this need for broadband for all the things in EMS I
described and for many more in polic
e and fire

communities.


The Public Safety Alliance was formed of fire, police, public safety communications and EMS
organizations to lobby for a capability like this. After a long battle in D.C. on the hill, which
some of us still have nightmares about

the Middle Class Tax Relief Job Creation Act of 2012
was signed in February of 2012 by President Obama and it created the First Responder
Network Authority or FirstNet Public Safety Broadband Network.


[Slide 17]


What that brought with us

were a number o
f assets. It gave us Congressional approval to go
ahead and form this network for public safety. It gave us twenty megahertz of bandwidth. It is
called band fourteen in the 700 megahertz spectrum if you talk that language. It gave us seven
billion dolla
rs in steps based on future auctions of other bandwidth to build the system.


It put together a board of directors for FirstNet which consists of people who came out of the
wireless network development industry. Our chairman, Sam Ginn, was a very successf
ul
wireless
communications network developer as well as others he attracted to the board. There
are public safety folks, police, fire and EMS and sheriffs represented on the board.


There are state and local folks represented on the board. Combined all t
he talents you need
really to direct at a very high level the spending of that money and development of that network.


[Slide 18]


We also have as assets a considerable amount of information that has come before us. Many
of us have participated in the pu
blic safety world in anticipating broadband. NPSTC (National
Public Safety Telecommunications Council) has contributed a number of documents that inform
this board and the technical expertise that the board is collecting to build a network.


If you have
n’t

ever read SafeCom Statement of Requirements Version 2.1

write that down,
Google it on the SafeCom webpage

that will give you scenario based description of where we
are headed with all of this. This document was written in 2004 but it holds true today.


[Slide 19]


Out of the NPSTC documents we have more than 1,300 requirements that FirstNet has to
consider that came out of the public safety community itself

requirements
for
what the network
needs to do.


[Slide 20]


This is a network of components. Ob
viously public safety is a player as is our network, the
wireless operators, the other commercial terrestrial or land based providers

the Verizons and
AT&Ts of the world

and satellite providers provide layers of additional capabilities for us to
make our s
ystem more reliable, and other providers I will describe in a minute.


[Slide 21]


Basically there are three components to what we see as our future at FirstNet

terrestrial
mobile systems, our 700 megahertz band system we own and license to be used as our
pri
mary

network, and the other terrestrial systems, commercial systems, mobile satellite systems where
terrestrial systems (cell towers) don’t reach, and also systems on wheels

or cells on wheels,

that we will maintain for disasters in areas where the infr
astructure goes down and the satellite
can’t come

in

areas where we need to stand up a system temporarily.


[Slide 22]


Solving several critical issues

we need to have instant inter
-
agency communication and
collaboration. That means when someone comes dow
n from Maine to New Jersey in a storm
like Sandy when we land on the ground we have instant data communications that look exactly
like Maine when we are in New Jersey, and obviously interoperability with existing public safety
systems.


We have to be able
to talk one to many, one to one, push to talk capabilities, group
communication of a nationwide scale ultimately, mission critical reliability through being able to
layer on other networks where they are needed with focal network
being

the FirstNet network
.


Coverage into areas that are not now covered

I am going to talk about the rest of these or I
have already talked about the rest of those.


[Slide 23]


Our chair likes to say that we are going to cover every square meter. I laud his optimism and I
hope
we can do that. It was pointed out to me that there are some very deep canyons in the
United States

where we may have some challenges. That is certainly the goal

through satellite

or terrestrial to get out there.


You can bet your life on it network

it’s
available all the time. It has a high reliability, public
safety grade hardening appropriate to the locale. We don’t harden for earthquakes in Maine
bu
t we do in Tennessee and so on

matching the

need for hardening but making sure it is
there by making su
re we use additional commercial and satellite networks to build in that
reliability.


We are not inventing a network from the ground up

a so
-
called green field development. We
are going to explore existing infrastructure of towers and even water towers an
d other places
where we might put antennas to make the system work at a lower cost. I described the three
-
in
-
one network.


[Slide 24]


One emphasis here is on local management. That

simply

means that although this is going to
be distributed nationwide
network, events and emergencies are local. Locales need to define
what their protocols are going to be for turning up and down capabilities under certain
circumstances. I said the DMS might use a lot of video.


That is banned with intensive and if we ha
ve a mass casualty incident we might turn off the
video so we can

do multi
-
casualty patient monitoring. How you do that and when you do that
needs to be a locally managed decision. That is what FirstNet is committed to.


We are committed to excellent voi
ce quality, equal or better than that which we enjoy with
commercial wireless today.
W
e recognize that while we want the best available speeds and
through put for as much data as possible, it is going to be matched by local and state managers
to the condi
tions of the response areas at that time and in that situation.


[Slide 25]


Obviously these communications for police in particular for HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability
and Accountability Act) purpose with
in

EMS have to be highly secure. We are not go
ing to
sacrifice anything in that regard. We are using LTE as our adopted technology for this system
and we intend to maintain that as the most recent revisions or editions of that.


Last I want to emphasize o
ur goal is low cost. That is to say that when

you ambulance service
changes out the cell phones in the back of the ambulance
, that

putting in a FirstNet
communications device will be affordable

as affordable as putting in a newer generation of cell
phones. That is our goal in terms of the equipment
cost and monthly charges in the system.


[Slide 26]


Quite simply we exist to serve first responders in this. Our goal

we are not a profit making
situation. We do not serve investors. Our owners are colleagues in public safety.


[Slide 27]


What can pub
lic safety folks, emergency managers and other public safety
colleagues out there
as far as the development of this system

do?
Along with us we keep reminding ourselves on
the board of where FirstNet came from

the battles we went through in Washington, D.
C. to
get the capability we have that is known as FirstNet today.


FirstNet came from public safety and it exists to serve public safety. We need to remember
that public safety is the owner and consumer or user. What you can do out there is identify
thro
ugh the state and local grant program process which requires this that NTIA is
administering, identify your state point of contact for FirstNet development.

Every state has to
have one.


Every state point of contact is supposed to have a representative b
ody that represents you.
Get on that body or make sure somebody you believe is a responsible party is on that body to
make sure you are represented in decisions of who gets what bandwidth and how it will be used
and those decisions

in certain situations t
urning up and down bandwidth

how that will be
done.


It is locally managed but you are the local. Again we have to think about apps. The apps are
going to sell this system and make it work in the future. With that, I turn it over to Amy for
questions.


[Slide 28]


Amy Sebring:
Thank you very much Kevin.
That is a very good introduction. Let’s
move

to our
Q&A.



[Audience Questions & Answers]


Question:

Amy
Sebring
:

About the state points of contact, the governors are supposed to identify those
by Apri
l. Is that correct?



Kevin McGinnis:

I can’t give you an exact date but it is the governor’s responsibility to do that.
You can go on the FirstNet website to get the date on that. It is happening quick.


Amy Sebring:

We do have a link on our backgr
ound page to
state and local implementation
and funding opportunity announcement

and I believe that information is in there as well.

[Application deadline, including L
etter of State Designation, was March 19.]


Question:

Jeff Pierce:

We have a 3
-
year performance period for Phase 1 and 2 that we have funding for.
How are others planning to sustain momentum on this process when we have an unfunded gap
between planning &
buildout?



Kevin McGinnis:
That is a great question. I think one of the things we need to take as a
mindset is that this is not necessarily a process where you are all at once building a statewide
system. The planning has to be done on a statewide basis

clearly. That is the intention. There
are already a number of systems out there, whether they are city or county or region or multi
-
city wide that have begun building to the end of having a network there.


You are going to end up with a number in the st
atewide planning efforts being a process of
connecting a lot of those individual buildouts.
But i
n order to do that we recognize that states
are in such different places in terms of their readiness for broadband from nothing to having
thought a lot about
it and having points of contact and having interoperable executive
committees or other committees that have been established that are going to be assigned as
new tasks, the NTIA didn’t try to do something that applies to everybody in the same way.


They tr
ied to give some flexibility for folks depending on where they are. When you do that you
end up with this type of extended planning process

giving people time to get up to speed.
Having said that it is

then

a matter of focusing on the early builders in
states to support their
activities in moving them forward, getting them to the point where they are starting to have
developed effective applications that are being used and can be shown in the rest of the state
as examples of success.


Hopefully at that p
oint there will be some local resources starting to flow into the mix and people
won’t be entirely waiting for infrastructure building. A good part of that initial two stage first set
of planning funding, the first part is to set up the structure in which

you are going to do your
planning and make sure it is representative.


The second part is to start analyzing your state capabilities so that you are not attempting a
green field build

a very expensive build up from the ground floor with nothing

that you h
ave
identified
infrastructure that

is not only capable of supporting the 700 megahertz system but the
owners of that infrastructure
(back haul,
antennas
, towers)
are willing to come to play.


I’m not a techie but I’ve watched some of these systems go up an
d three years is not a huge
period of time to get those systems up and capable.


Comment
:

Amy Sebring
:

I gather from some of the material I’ve read about FirstNet that you are hoping
to leverage some existing assets that are already available in cities a
nd states.


Kevin McGinnis:

No question about it, Amy

we would be foolish to try to do a green field
build. It isn’t necessary. The assets out there are many. It’s not only physical assets such as
black fiber, microwave and other things that are availa
ble. I’m not a techie so if I get into
terminology we may quickly be led astray. I avoid that.


Not only the infrastructural pieces but
also
other forms of organized networking that are out
there

we talked about other forms of terrestrial network out th
ere in the form of commercial
wireles
s, large governmental wireless systems
, satellite systems and that sort of thing. We
need to look at all of those and we are.


Our acting general manager, Craig Farrell has been talking with owners of federal systems

as
well as state and local systems trying to get a handle on what is out there and what it will take
for FirstNet to take advantage of those things. Issues that go down to technical and mundane
such as

do we need to get environmental impact statements to

use existing technology or
infrastructure?


What other kinds of bureaucratic hurdles are there to be able to adopt the offers of other
people’s infrastructure? It would be nice if we could do a handshake and go ahead and use it
but it’s not that simple
.


Question:

Richard VanDame
:

How does this interface, if it can, with UICDS and VirtualUSA?


Kevin McGinnis:
Good question

I think that, and mind you again, I am not a techie
, but a
t a
high level from a policy view I look at the way VirtualUSA works wit
h sharing common operating
picture and situational awareness data, there certainly is the potential for the network to be
involved in that sharing of data whether that makes Virtual USA more capable than it is today

I
haven’t kept recent tabs on Virtual US
A and it has spread across the country and other
situational awareness capabilities.


It seems to me and I’ve heard it discussed that the network could play a role in data
transmission and probably should play a role because of its ability or intended abil
ity that we
have immediate nationwide

communications capability.


Amy Sebring:
I understand that FirstNet is about to start a pretty intensive outreach effort and
part of that will be to the vendor community to engage them also.


Kevin McGinnis:
You’re a
bsolutely right. Our outreach program right now is under the
direction of Jeff Johnson who is the fire representative on the board and temporarily serving a
stint of duty as a staff member until we hire someone into that position. He has done a very
capa
ble job of organizing what will be some regional meetings coordinated with the National
Governor’s Association to
begin to
get a picture of how the various states and regions across
the United States and how well prepared they are at this point and what th
e variation and
preparation is.


We will also be going out state by state and looking more specifically at what state and local
preparedness is like for implementation of this program which will obviously impact
exactly
how
we roll the network plan out ult
imately. Our leaders, Sam Ginn, the chair, and Craig Farrell, the
acting general manager and others that have been assigned have been talking with some of
the major components in industry

the heads of commercial wireless carriers

to begin the
conversation
s about how we are going to interact with those entities as additional resources to
be drawn upon by public safety.


Once we have established the plan to communicate

with and be
very transparent to public
safety and its community we will further elaborate
on our plan to communicate with the vendor
community. We recognize there is a wealth of talent out there we would like to tap

for our
developmental purposes. We also need a process to tap that talent in a way that is fair to all
parties because it is a c
ompetitive world out there.


Question:

Wayne Ozio
:
Are there any deadlines or time frame for each state and counties to begin to
implement?


Kevin McGinnis:

The only deadlines that are pertinent right now are deadlines associated with
state and local gra
nt process that we talked about earlier. I would refer you to that website
because I can’t do dates off the top of my head. As far as the rest is concerned in general I
would say no
,

other than the state and local planning process itself.


You have to ge
t ready and get involved in becoming a participant as your state is ready. There
is a process that will kick in that states will have to respond to whether they are going to
participate fully in the system or whether they are going to “opt out”. Those st
ates will
still
have
to play within the system but they will have to develop their own radio access networks and the
like in the way they want to as long as the network interoperates with the FirstNet network.


That timeframe is dependent upon some thing
s FirstNet needs to do in terms of defining its
plan of action going forward and

actually going out and

sending out R
F
Ps for system
development and clocks start within that process or after that process.


Question:

Sanford Altschul:

Is the grant funding a
ll being administered by the SAA

(State Administrative
Agency)
?


Amy Sebring:
That goes to the point we talked about earlier about the governor setting up
those points of contact. It is very likely
,

may be the same if they are already set up.


Kevin McGi
nnis:

Whoever the governor
sets up as the point of contact.


Question:

Len Clark:

What is the interaction between FirstNet, which supports Broadband and National
Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), which stated in its report that there is n
ot
enough bandwidth?


Kevin McGinnis:
The NPSTC is the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council, and I
sit on that

the relationship between FirstNet and NPSTC is the NPSTC has preceded FirstNet
through the period when we were looking at the public
-
private partnership
I talked about,
back
in 2007 and 2008.


Back as far as then NPSTC was beginning to develop requirements of the public safety
community, whatever it was to become. Ever since then they have refined that and as we come

to FirstNet toda
y they are the ones that have generated those 1,300 or more requirements that
I talked about FirstNet is very seriously considering as it moves forward with its network building
plan.


When NPSTC

at one point

said we wouldn’t have enough bandwidth, there w
as a point in our
developmental time when one of the battles we were fighting was with certain government
agencies as well as certain commercial providers who felt we didn’t need twenty megahertz of
bandwidth.


Subsequently folks like Andy Seabolt who is

well known in the public safety communications
world and NPSTC folks at the Public Safety Communications Research Laboratory have done
work that demonstrates and has demonstrated in the past the twenty megahertz is going to
serve us for awhile.


In and of

itself it may not be sufficient down the road but that is what we were shooting for
initially. We are glad we got that rather than five or ten which other people were trying to aim
us toward. I think we who sit on NPSTC are very content with where we ar
e sitting now.


Question:

Isabel McCurdy:

Access to personal medical records is a privacy issue. How do you get
permission to do that?


Kevin McGinnis:
It is actually pretty easy. Either you wear your medical record on you and
you offer it up as an emer
gency thing that gets put into a smartphone slot

that is easy and
secure

you are giving permission, or you have agreed to have your medical records submitted
to a regional repository of medical records.


That cannot happen without your permission. When yo
u go to a doctor’s office they may have
you sign a statement that says my record can go into, in my case in Maine it is called Maine
Health Info Net. Now my record is available to any other provider or hospital in the state and
any ambulance that happens
to be on the scene needing my record. I have given my
permission. That is the health answer to that.


Question:

Sanford Altschul:

Is it safe to say there is
intent

to get this implemented on a regional basis
vs. individual communities?


Kevin McGinnis:

It is actually our intent to get it established on a national basis. On a national

basis we are going to have certain things that are shared everywhere so we can have that
instantaneous
ubiquitous communication that we might need in some situations. Whe
n we go
from place to place to place in certain situations such as storms and other disasters that we can
have instantaneous “on”

we have the same communications and interoperability

there

that we
have at home.


Having said that we do intend there be local

development and
local
management that goes to
questions of who will have priority in your locale for what kinds of situations and who
does
not.
What kinds of applications have priority under certain situations? Those are intende
d as
regional or local dec
ision making
. We do believe a lot of the early buildouts are going to be
cities and counties and other locales as opposed to larger approaches.

That is a matter of
those who are already doing it or giving it thought.


Question:

Alonna Barnhart:

The law
requires FirstNet to use LTE technologies, but if the planning phase
of this effort will take up to 3 years, by the time we're ready to build networks LTE will be
obsolete. Will we have to amend the law in order to keep current with technology?


Kevin McG
innis:
LTE will not be obsolete in three years. There are versions of standards for
LTE that are coming out routinely which update the capabilities of LTE.
As a for instance, o
ne
of the things we have not cracked with LTE

is one to one voice communicatio
ns

push to talk

those things are being planned in LTE for future versions of LTE which will not appear until
three years from now.


So
LTE is going to be obsolete in three years is not true. It is going to be evolved but the
systems we are establishing to
day or will establish in the next three years are not going to be
subject to wholesale discarding.

FirstNet will evolve along with technology.


Question:

Dr. Tom Phelan:

Will this health information system work or coordinate with the Emergency
Responder H
ealth Monitoring and Surveillance System (ERHMS) from the CDC and National
Response Team?


Kevin McGinnis:

I don’t know

we haven’t thought that far ahead in the EMS world in general.
That is the national EMS community hasn’t thought about how we are goin
g to do that. That is
regardless of FirstNet or not

how regional repositories of patients’ electronic data are going to
be shared for preparedness purposes is

a whole
other matter.


Once those policies are established so that data is allowed to flow betwe
en regional
repositories of health data and preparedness coordinators then yes, FirstNet can be a part of
that data

pipe
.


[Closing]


Amy Sebring:
On behalf of Avagene, myself, and all our participants today, thank you very
much Kevin for joining us toda
y and sharing this information. We wish you good luck as this
effort moves forward. We

think

they are
very lucky to have you on the Board.


One thing I do want to point out the link on our background page. They are planning a June
workshop conference on
this in Colorado, and there is an open invitation to register and go.
See the link on our background page.


Folks, before you go, PLEASE take a moment to do the rating and enter any additional
comments you may have.


Our next program is scheduled for Apr
il 10
h

when we will present an update on the
implementation of the new National Flood Insurance Program provisions that were passed by
Congress nearly a year ago. Our guests will be David Miller, Associate Administrator for the
Federal Insurance and Mitiga
tion Administration, and Kristin Robinson who has been
coordinating the implementation for FEMA. Please make plans to join us then.


Thanks to everyone for participating today and have a great afternoon! We are adjourned.