Public Safety Advocate: A Look Back, News, More Next Week

The last week in February is very busy for me. I am working to complete a number of projects and I am still looking for time to get back to my book on FirstNet history, which I thought would have been completed by now. Therefore, this week I will be brief. I am providing a quick look at some news items and look back at my April 15, 2013 Advocate in which I referred to an important document published by the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) that I believe should still be of interest to elected officials today. 

News Clips

From (the official FirstNet Authority site)

The FirstNet network expands across Missouri and New Mexico. The build-out in Missouri includes eighteen new FirstNet (Built with AT&T) sites. In New Mexico, new sites were turned on to provide additional FirstNet coverage in rural areas, and other network enhancements were completed. 

This is in addition to new sites in Maryland and many other states. FirstNet (Built with AT&T) continues to beat build-out deadlines set by The FirstNet Authority in its Request for Proposals. 

In Other News

Test runs in the Santa Barbara, Calif. channel show that FirstNet’s MegaRange™ high-power service, now available on FirstNet Band 14, was effective for more than twenty miles in a maritime scenario as reported in Urgent Communications. This test was in the area of the fatal dive-boat fire and sinking that happened just off the coast of Santa Cruz Island, which is twenty-six miles off the shores of Santa Barbara. Also of note for Santa Cruz Island is that multiple public-safety agencies banded together to restore an abandoned Nextel cell site on the island and turn it into a major public-safety communications site to provide Land Mobile Radio (LMR) coverage back to the beach areas along the coast. 

MegaRange Webinar

Speaking of MegaRange, the Public Safety Broadband Technology Association (PSBTA) hosted a MegaRange webinar on February 17, 2021. Speakers included Chief Harlin McEwen (Ret.) and me presenting MegaRange drive tests; Bob LaRose, Vice President Business Development, Assured Wireless; and Larry Greenstein, Senior Product Manager at Airgain, Inc. The webinar was hosted by Martha Ellis who is currently Executive Director of the PSBTA and is a retired fire Division Chief and First Marshal. The event was recorded and is available here, and the slides by the presenters can be downloaded here. 

“Public Safety Advocate Special Edition
Posted By: Andrew Seybold April 15, 2013

This morning, the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) published a document intended for distribution to any and all elected federal, state, and local elected officials. This document states clearly and in plain language why Public Safety Land Mobile Radio (LMR) voice systems MUST be maintained even though FirstNet is building out a new Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN).

The document is attached in a PDF file and may also be accessed at The reason this document needs to be widely distributed is that many of us who have been working on this broadband network are receiving telephone calls and emails from elected officials and some within the Public Safety community asking why LMR systems must be maintained since they assume LMR will be replaced by the broadband network.

This document was prepared by the APCO Broadband Committee, and APCO sent it on to NPSTC for final revisions and publication. Please make sure you provide this document to any and all elected officials you may come in contact with as well as others within the Public Safety community who may not understand that the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network is focused on providing for the addition of data and video services to Public Safety and NOT replacing existing LMR networks.


Back with a new Advocate next week.

Andrew M. Seybold
©2021, Andrew Seybold, Inc.


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