Edward Parkinson Outlines the Requirements for Public Safety Industry

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While the FirstNet®-AT&T® partnership has yielded fine progress until now, the First Responder Network Authority® said that it does not wish “to put all of our eggs in one basket” but is seeking other partners in the industry. Edward Parkinson, First Responder Network Authority’s Acting CEO said that they are looking for those who are especially interested in growing technologies that can be leveraged for public safety as well as smart cities initiatives.

“Ultimately, what I’m asking for is to join us,” Parkinson said during a keynote speech delivered at the Consumer Electronics Show in LA. “We’re looking for partnerships. We have our partnership with AT&T®, but we’re looking to create as many more as we possibly can. This is something that is at the core of what FirstNet® is.”

He said, “As we go out today, and going forward, we’re going to be looking to make more partners in industry, more partners with public safety, from a variety of different groups across the nation. As we go forward, we have our team within the organization—our industry-liaison team—and we’re looking for new ideas. There’s a lot that we don’t know, and there’s a lot that we don’t know we can take advantage of and work for public safety. I want to be able to take advantage of that to make sure that public safety’s lot is better.”

Parkinson said this approach represents a shift in philosophy for the First Responder Network Authority®. “I ask all of you today to come together to really work for the benefit of public safety. For many years at FirstNet®, we’ve been thinking about how industry needs to be thinking of public safety first and then have spinoff applications around the services they provide. We’re looking to try to switch that.”

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He further added, “As we’re walking around the CES hall, there are amazing applications, when you look at the self-automated cars and the drone applications that are out there. Think about that from an industry point of view and how public safety can benefit. I think leveraging that different way of thinking can only help men and women in uniform across the country.” Parkinson said it can also help revenues of vendors delivering solutions.

From FirstNet’s earliest days, industry analysts expressed concern that fresh vendors would be uncertain to get into the public safety segment, which often has challenging performance requirements as well as represents a fraction of the total commercial communications market. However, Edward Parkinson urged the industry officials to grow FirstNet® solutions that can serve public safety and potentially lucrative smart cities market.

Under AT&T’s agreement with the Authority, the fastest internet provider can make use of 20 Megahertz of the 700 Megahertz Band 14 spectrum that is licensed to FirstNet® for twenty-five years, and can get as much as 6.5 billion dollars by meeting network deployment goal during the initial 5 years of the agreement.

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