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.


FirstNet, AT&T release state plans, governors to make ‘opt-in/opt-out’ decisions by mid-December 2
​Public-safety organizations in certain states could begin using a prioritized FirstNet service on ATT’s commercial network very soon, if their governors decide to accept the initial state plans delivered today by FirstNet that outline the deployment of the much-anticipated nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN).
PSCR: Scott Ledgerwood demonstrates how hackers can compromise a handheld device
Scott Ledgerwood, an IT security specialist for the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) division, demonstrates how hackers can leverage a remote-access Trojan virus to access sensitive information and gain control of a device’s key functions. Ledgerwood provided the demonstration last week during the PSCR Broadband Stakeholder Meeting in San Antonio.
FirstNet, AT&T share more details about fees, operations as state-plan release date approaches
FirstNet officials are working to finalize the fees that states and territories would pay to use the FirstNet LTE core and FirstNet’s licensed 20 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum in a potential opt-out scenario, but it is not certain whether these figures will be included in the state plans that could be delivered as early as next week, according to FirstNet Chairwoman Sue Swenson.
Sonim: Jose Oscar Fajardo and Bob Escalle discuss mission-critical-voice research projects in Atlantic City, Fairfax County
Nemergent CEO Jose Oscar Fajardo, left, and Bob Escalle, Sonim Technologies' vice president for the public-safety market segment, discuss plans to explore the performance of mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) over LTE as part of a research project being funded by a federal grant of almost $1.4 million from the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program. Sonim Technologies is the grant recipient, and Nemergent will provide the MCPTT platform that will be tested in Atlantic City, N.J., and Fairfax County, Va.
PSCR awards $38.5 million in public-safety-communications research grants
Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) announces that $38.5 million in grants have been awarded to fund 33 research-and-development projects that are designed to help determine future possibilities in a variety of first-responder communications technologies.
Redl discusses FirstNet, spectrum sharing during nomination hearing for NTIA post
​David Redl, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), pledged during his nomination hearing to maximize use of federal-government spectrum and help ensure a successful FirstNet deployment, if he is confirmed to serve in the post.
FirstNet, AT&T drop ‘draft state plan’ term, announce process for early ‘opt-in’ decisions
​Governors will have an opportunity to accept the FirstNet state plan for deploying a public-safety broadband network within the borders as soon as this month, a FirstNet official announces at the organization’s meeting of state points of contact (SPOCs) in the Dallas area.
FCC proposes FirstNet opt-out review process for consideration at June 22 meeting 1
States and territories pursuing the “opt-out” alternative would need to complete an FCC review process that the agency hopes to complete in 90 days, following a 60-day period that is designed to give states and territories time to prepare alternative plans, according to the FCC proposal that is scheduled for consideration at the June 22 commission meeting.
Huawei: Nermin Mohamed highlights features of company's end-to-end networking approach
Nermin Mohamed, Huawei's vice president of solutions and marketing, explains how Huawei leverages myriad networking technologies to provide operators with an overall solution that is designed to maximize performance, reliability and flexibility.
Radvisory 5G: Keith Radousky discusses alternative strategies for densification of wireless sites
Keith Radousky, president of Radvisory 5G, outlines how myriad technologies can be leveraged to provide broadband wireless connectivity via cell sites in nontraditional locations, such as on the rooftops of low-rise buildings.
FirstNet draft state plans expected to be delivered around June 19, AT&T exec says
​FirstNet plans to deliver draft state plans depicting the public-safety LTE deployment plans for each U.S. state and territory as part of contractor AT&T’s nationwide Band 14 700 MHz buildout on June 19, “give or take a day,” an AT&T executive says during a conference.
New CEO Jeff Robertson optimistic about Airbus DS Communications’ role in next-gen 911
​Next-generation 911 (NG911) promises to provide significant benefits to citizens and first-responder agencies, so public-safety answering points (PSAPs) should not wait for federal funding to become available to transition to the new all-IP platform, according to Jeff Robertson, the new president and CEO of Airbus DS Communications.
EJL Wireless Research: Earl Lum discusses the future of in-building coverage for public-safety communications
Earl Lum, president of EJL Wireless Research, outlines some of the challenges facing vendors, governments and building owners as they try to support public safety's in-building communications needs for LMR and LTE systems.
Hytera Communications completes acquisition of Sepura
​China-based Hytera Communications announces that it completed the acquisition of the Sepura Group, ending the months-long saga for the $92 million all-cash purchase of the United Kingdom (UK)-based provider of TETRA products and solutions.
Massachusetts seeks bidders for potential public-safety RAN alternative to nationwide FirstNet system
Massachusetts issues a request for response (RFR) that seeks input from vendors willing to build and maintain a statewide public-safety LTE radio access network (RAN), making it the seventh state to initiate a procurement designed to provide an “opt-out” alternative to the nationwide FirstNet deployment.