By TJ Kennedy, FirstNet Acting General Manager
Last week, the annual LTE North America conference was held in Dallas, TX. The three-day event brought together more than 1,200 people from the communications and technology sectors, as well as representatives from all levels of government, to discuss current broadband solutions with an eye toward innovation.
On Thursday, I had the opportunity to provide a keynote presentation on FirstNet that focused on our progress in 2014 and priorities for the year ahead and beyond. I was glad to have the chance to speak to and meet with so many technology leaders and visionaries during the conference, as the vendor community will continue to be an important partner in our efforts to plan for, design, and deploy a nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN).
During my presentation, I talked about how network sustainability, priority testing, and coverage were three important considerations in our current planning efforts for the network. Further, I asked the audience to change the way they think about technology and to consider how the development of new technology solutions for public safety can also lead to and even spur innovation in the commercial sector.
Continuing on the theme of research and development, I also reviewed the work being funded by FirstNet at the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program in Boulder, Colo., on the key public safety network features of priority and preemption.
In addition, I previewed FirstNet’s key planned activities for the next year and beyond. This includes the development of a draft request for proposal for a comprehensive network solution and continuing with our nationwide consultation activities.
I enjoyed catching up with Major Ryan Burchnell after the LTENA keynote session. Ryan, who is Chief Technology Officer for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, provided some public safety technical expertise representation at the conference, speaking on a panel on Software-Defined Networking (SDN), and Network functions Virtualization (NFV). We talked about Florida’s December 12th initial consultation meeting and how state representatives recently participated in the Iowa consultation meeting held last week as part of their preparations.
Thanks to LTE North America for the opportunity to speak at this year's conference.