Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Oh, Oh: Iowa Sheriff Alleges Impropriety at FirstNet

Located within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the Department of Commerce, is the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). The FirstNet Board is comprised of both telecommunications and Emergency Service Sector professionals who are overseeing creation of FirstNet - a single nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network that was legislatively created in 2012. At the most recent meeting of the FirstNet Board, things turned very ugly when the Sheriff of Story County, Iowa, Paul Fitzgerald, alleged that he and the rest of the Emergency Services Sector representatives on the Board were effectively being used as a rubber stamp for what the telecommunications industry had already decided would happen with the $7.0 Billion project. More below:

(FirstNet - NTIA)

Sheriff Fitzgerald's Resolution
(FirstNet - NTIA)

Comment: Don't waste your time trying to read the meeting transcript, it's unintelligible. But, if you want a lesson in Washington, D.C. politics, Part 1 of the webcast is absolutely priceless - Sheriff Fitzgerald's Initial Comments: 64:50-68:00; Motion: 68:00-77:00; Logic: 79:00-85:25; Other Member Comments: 87:28-100:00. Do we have a Sheriff who is frustrated because he is not in control, or an honest man from Iowa speaking the truth about a railroad process that's determining the future of emergency response for the next 50 years? Best you judge that one. However, one thing I know for sure - when an event happens like this - the Board's overall approach to business has serious problems. Events like this just don't happen because....

Graphic: NTIA  

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