Public safety broadband network will rely on existing commercial infrastructure
The board charged with standing up the national public safety broadband network following the February reallocation of the D block spectrum says the network shouldn't be a standalone one.
Rather, in a notice of inquiry on the conceptual network architecture, the First Responder Network Authority says (based on a presentation [.pdf] submitted during the board's first meeting, on Sept. 25) that the network will be made up of multiple commercial wireless networks and systems as well as public safety infrastructure.
A standalone network is too expensive and would take too long, F. Craig Farrill, the FirstNet board member who gave the presentation, said in the presentation.
However, a network with multiple connectivity paths that includes local commercial cellular service networks would be ubiquitous and less expensive, and implementation could begin in 2013 or 2014, according to Farrill, who is co-founder of Plano, Texas-based mobile solution provider Kodiak Networks.
The network architecture should be premised to the extent possible on using "existing radio access network and core network infrastructure installed by commercial mobile operators," the notice of inquiry states.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, of which FirstNet is an independent authority, earlier this year announced it would dismiss local government waiver applications to operate within the public safety broadband network spectrum on the grounds that the new network should not be a network of networks.
The notice of inquiry also puts forward the concept of having the private sector develop public safety broadband network applications with standardized interfaces. FirstNet would act as a certification authority.
Comments on the notice are due by Nov. 1.
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