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.


President Trump signs Kari’s Law
President Donald Trump today signs into law H.R. 582—legislation better known as Kari’s Law—requiring that emergency callers can dial 911 directly from phones associated with multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) that are commonplace in hotels, offices and other enterprises.
House passes Kari’s Law amendment, legislation sent to President Trump for final signature
U.S. House members approves an amendment to Kari’s Law legislation—a measure that would require direct dialing for 911 calls made on multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) frequently used by hotels, offices and other enterprises—that awaits President Donald Trump’s signature to become law.
FirstNet gets three new board members, while one spot remains open
​U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross appoints three new FirstNet board members and the appointment of another board member to three-year terms, leaving the FirstNet board with one open seat and no clear state-government representative among its current membership.
Kari’s Law passes U.S. Senate, awaits House vote before being sent to President’s desk
U.S. senators this week again approved a House-initiated version of “Kari’s Law”—legislation that would require direct dialing for 911 calls made on multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) frequently used by hotels, offices and other enterprises—by unanimous consent.
PSAC Chairman Tom Sorley passes unexpectedly at 53 3
Tom Sorley, chairman of FirstNet’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) and a leading technical voice for public-safety communications, died unexpectedly on Saturday at his home after suffering an apparent cardiac event. He was 53.
Motorola Solutions touts strength of LMR business, particularly in North America
Motorola Solutions reports record revenue, cash flow, operating earnings and backlog for 2017, driven largely by land-mobile-radio (LMR) sales in both the public-safety and commercial sectors, company officials said during a conference call reviewing fourth-quarter (Q4) and year-end financial results.
Motorola Solutions to buy Avigilon video-surveillance, analytics company in all-cash deal worth about $1 billion
Motorola Solutions announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Avigilon—a Vancouver-based provider of video-surveillance and video-analytics solutions—in an all-cash transaction that is worth about $1 billion.
AT&T CEO highlights FirstNet role as ‘foundation’ to carrier’s 5G plans
FirstNet was AT&T’s top strategic initiative last year, and the telecom giant has begun construction of the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN), which will “prove to be the foundation for taking wireless network performance to a completely new level,” according to AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson.
In-building coverage for FirstNet wanted, but many details remain unknown
In-building coverage for FirstNet is important for public safety, but consensus policies still need to be developed and considerable education is needed to make in-building coverage for first responders subscribing to the nationwide FirstNet system a reality, according to speakers on a panel exploring the topic.
Secure 5G network needed in the U.S., but ‘no decisions’ yet on nationalization proposal, White House says 1
Secure 5G connectivity in the U.S. is needed to protect governments, enterprises and consumers from cyberattacks, but there have been “absolutely no decisions made” about how that goal will be achieved, the White House said after a proposal to create a nationalized 5G network was criticized throughout the telecom industry.
Brazos County Sheriff Office becomes first public-safety agency in Texas to subscribe to FirstNet 2
Officials for the Brazos County Sheriff Office announce that it is the first public-safety agency in Texas to subscribe to FirstNet services provided by AT&T, joining a handful of early adopters already using the much-anticipated nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN).
Harris announces new Tait-powered simulcast offerings for DMR Tier 2 and Tier 3 1
Harris introduces an IP-based Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Tier 2 and Tier 3 simulcast solution from strategic partner Tait Communications that is designed to provide non-public-safety enterprises with options to scale networks, even with limited spectrum resources.
AT&T unveils new branding for FirstNet products and services
FirstNet nationwide contractor AT&T launches a new visual brand that will be associated with FirstNet services and products, according to AT&T and FirstNet officials. FirstNet will continue to use its existing logo to designate organizational activities, as opposed to products and services that subscribers can buy.
Verizon preemption service ‘available’ to public-safety customers but not necessarily ‘enabled’
Verizon has made preemptive access “available” across its network for public-safety customers and demonstrated that it works during this year’s Tournament of Roses Parade in California, but the preemption functionality is being “enabled” only on a limited basis in other parts of the country, according to a Verizon spokesperson.
Northern Mariana Islands ‘opt-in’ decision gives FirstNet clean sweep of states and territories
Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph DeLeon Guerrero Torres announces that he has accepted the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) deployment plan offered by FirstNet and AT&T, meaning all 56 states and territories in the U.S. have made an “opt-in” decision.