Donny Jackson

Urgent Communications

Donny Jackson is editor of Urgent Communications magazine. Before joining UC in 2002, he covered telecommunications for four years as a freelance writer and as news editor for Telephony magazine. Prior to that, he worked for suburban newspapers in the Dallas area, serving as editor-in-chief for the Irving News and the Las Colinas Business News.


New Jersey becomes sixth state to ‘opt-in’ to FirstNet
​New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announces that his state will “opt-in” and become the sixth state to accept the FirstNet plan for deploying the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) that will be built by AT&T, FirstNet’s nationwide contractor.
Oklahoma, Missouri issue RFPs seeking vendors to build FirstNet RAN alternatives
Oklahoma and Missouri issue requests for proposals (RFPs) designed to solicit bids to build and maintain the public-safety LTE radio access networks (RAN) in the respective states, if their governors decide to pursue the “opt-out” alternative to the proposed FirstNet buildout later this year.
FirstNet, AT&T make commitments to Congress on volunteer pricing, devices, finances
​Volunteer public-safety officers subscribing to FirstNet in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scenario will realize “significant” monthly savings when compared to a traditional commercial wireless offering, an AT&T official said during a Senate subcommittee hearing.
AT&T exec shares capacity-based FirstNet Band 14 deployment plans with Congress
AT&T will deploy infrastructure on the 20 MHz of 700 MHz Band 14 spectrum that is licensed to FirstNet only in geographic locations where the carrier giant determines it needs additional bandwidth capacity, an AT&T executive said during a Senate subcommittee hearing.
AT&T, FirstNet officials shed light on near-term implementation efforts
​FirstNet and AT&T officials have long stated that public-safety agencies within “opt-in” states immediately can take advantage of priority access across the AT&T network, but even existing AT&T customers first need to subscribe to a FirstNet plan to realize the priority functionality, according to AT&T.
Iowa becomes fifth state to announce FirstNet ‘opt-in’ decision
​Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announces that she has accepted the FirstNet deployment plan for her state, making Iowa the fifth state to “opt-in” to the plan for a nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN), which will be built, maintained and upgraded by AT&T during the next 25 years.
Pennsylvania becomes ninth state to seek RAN bids as a FirstNet alternative
Pennsylvania issues a request for proposal (RFP) seeking bids to build and maintain a statewide LTE radio access network (RAN) to serve public-safety users in the state, if its governor decides to pursue the “opt-out” alternative to accepting FirstNet’s deployment plan for the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN).
Arkansas, Kentucky governors make FirstNet ‘opt-in’ decisions
Governors for Arkansas and Kentucky announce that their states accept the FirstNet deployment plans, increasing the total of “opt-in” states to four for the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) that will be built and maintained by AT&T.
Wyoming governor makes FirstNet 'opt-in' announcement
Wyoming announces that Gov. Matt Mead will accept the FirstNet’s deployment plan—to be executed by AT&T—making Wyoming the second state to express its intent to “opt-in” to the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) plan.
Virginia becomes first state to “opt-in” to FirstNet system, ceremony slated for today
Virginia became the first state to accept the FirstNet state plan that allows AT&T to proceed with the buildout of the 700 MHz nationwide public-safety broadband network within its borders after Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed the letter of intent yesterday.
AT&T has significant incentives to ‘get it right’ for public safety via FirstNet, company official says 1
AT&T has multiple financial and long-term-business reasons to provide public-safety agencies with a solution they are willing to adopt as part of the carrier’s deal to serve as FirstNet’s nationwide partner for the next 25 years, a company official said yesterday.
UK public-safety LTE network targeted for completion in 2020, with LMR providing early direct-mode solution
First responders in the United Kingdom (UK) are slated to complete the communications transition from the Airwave TETRA system to the LTE-based Emergency Services Network (ESN) in 2020, although LMR technology likely will continue to be used when off-network voice communications are needed, according to a UK official.
FCC maintains possibility of 6.25 kHz mandate with denial of waiver request 1
LMR radio manufacturers must continue to build subscriber radios that are capable of operating on 6.25 kHz channels—or equivalent—below 512 MHz, the FCC rules in denying a waiver request from the International Municipal Signal Association (IMSA).
FirstNet officials reiterate MCPTT plans for March 2019, hope to accelerate firefighter-location solutions
​FirstNet staff present board members with a new roadmap for the organization that includes a technological commitment to support mission-critical-push-to-talk (MCPTT) technology across the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) by March 2019.
Motorola Solutions’ new LTE handheld device certified by AT&T, is ‘FirstNet-ready’ 1
​Motorola Solutions announces the availability of the LEX F10, a durable public-safety LTE handheld device that has been certified by AT&T and is “FirstNet-ready,” supporting operation on FirstNet’s 700 MHz Band 14 spectrum and AT&T’s commercial spectrum bands, according to a Motorola Solutions official.