FAQs



Who owns the D-Block spectrum?

FirstNet.

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How will local control be established?

FirstNet is currently working with the Public Safety Advisory Council to create options.  No information is currently available, but local control is being represented as part of the plan.

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How will they cover the cost of backhaul?  How will costs be approved?

This will be determined as the business models are developed. The good news is Florida is fiber-rich.

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Is FirstNet going to pay for access to the tower?

Yes, either in payment (dollars) or in tradeoff of excess capacity for access to existing towers.

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What is “spectrum?”

Spectrum refers to the radio frequency in a specific band. When the public had to move to digital TV, that frequency (700 MHZ/Band-14) was given to FirstNet to manage for Public Safety.

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Is FirstNet a Federal Agency?

FirstNet is an independent body that operates within the structure of NTIA and the Department of Commerce. This is part of the slowdown in how things move. Commerce and NTIA specifically (unlike Homeland Security) is much more legalistic in how they move. This is part of the reasons for the measured pace Florida is able to move at.

There are many unanswered questions about how much autonomy NTIA will allow the FirstNet Board.

FloridaNet is not anticipating any issues from FirstNet. Technically what we are able to do and how quickly we can do it is very different from the timelines established by FirstNet and NTIA.  We are ready to move quickly on planning, but what we are waiting for permission from FirstNet to proceed.

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Is FirstNet priority access controlled by FirstNet, the state, or local users?

The definition of local control is still under development.

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Is it too simplistic to say FirstNet is nothing more than infrastructure?

Yes.

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When can we expect to see contractual terms and pricing?

2016 at the earliest.

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Why is mission critical voice for LTE not developed?

The LTE standards for mission critical voice have not yet been developed and are likely several years away.  Mission critical voice standards include push-to-talk, one to many, and direct talk modes (for when towers are down).  None of these standards have been developed for LTE.

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What standards are being used to design the network?

A 417-page specification document was put out by the FirstNet.  LTE standards are globally established. 

FirstNet will likely have to approve applications that can run on its secure network to ensure security is not at risk.

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What about CJIS….we can’t use it?

Homeland Security Credentials may be substituted for Fire and Emergency Responders.

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Will there be one core per state?

There will be a subscription/user fee for access to the national public safety network. No business models exist yet so we don’t know what this will look like, but we can offer these predictions:

-Users will pay a subscription that will grant access to the core via a device (air card).

-It’s easy to envision a regional core with different operational architecture to handle multiple requirements. A one-size fits all approach probably doesn’t make sense (speculative). Whatever choice gets made will ultimately be seamless.

-All of this is speculation until the models are being better developed

-We envision multiple models and multiple hubs that the Feds will be operating. 

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Once it’s built out, what will subscribers have to pay?

No pricing models exist.

FirstNet would be a new wireless data provider. You will decide if you want to subscribe or stay with your current data plan/provider. If there isn’t a comparable value proposition, you aren’t compelled to sign on.

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What about other users: if there is high network demand in CA, does it affect us here?

No. This is a local high-speed wireless data network and capacity is local.

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Who will notify us on next steps?

If you are registered on the site FloridaNet.gov site, you will receive regular information updates on planning and next steps.

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We’re concerned about legislation and potential political changes and how they may impact this process. Specifically, is there a mechanism to prevent the private sector from taking this over?

In terms of control, FirstNet owns this spectrum…not the private sector. Any private sector capacity option must adhere to the guidelines that have been established. Public Safety chooses how the network operates.

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Will information be provided for the next step: tower/saturation coverage mapping?

Yes, in future workshops.

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Will FirstNet have day -to-day Value? Can I use this on a daily basis?

Yes.

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What are the in-building penetration plans?

These will be topics of ongoing national discussion. Current standard is likely 1 wall penetration.

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How will the Feds keep this up to date and ensure it won’t be obsolete before the network is deployed?

FirstNet has stated that 5G is being built into their business model.

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