Donny Jackson

Donny
Jackson
Editor,
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.

Articles

‘Opt-in/opt-out’ decisions require governors to consider many factors, panelists say 2
​Governors making an “opt-in/opt-out” decision by the end of the year have to consider more than simply whether they like the deployment plans presented by FirstNet and AT&T, including the ability for a state’s vendor to address potential risk factors during the next 25 years, according to panelists on an IWCE webinar.
NTIA does not release state funding levels, pushing 90-day FirstNet ‘opt-in/opt-out’ deadline deeper into December
Most governors will have at least until Dec. 21 to decide whether their states and territories will “opt-in” to FirstNet or pursue the “opt-out” option after the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) yesterday failed to provide key funding information that would apply to an “opt-out” state.
ESChat works with EF Johnson to provide push-to-talk-over-cellular functionality for DFW Airport
​Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport personnel will be able to utilize the ESChat push-to-talk-over-cellular (PoC) solution to communicate with other PoC users and subscribers on the EF Johnson-built P25 network, according to ESChat President Josh Lober.
FirstNet updates state-plan portals, but missing NTIA funding levels mean 90-day decision ‘clock’ on hold 2
FirstNet updates the state-plan portals, but official state-plan delivery—the action needed to start the statutory 90-day decision window for most governors—must wait until the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) provides its expected construction-grant funding levels for each state and territory.
Texas becomes largest state to make FirstNet ‘opt-in’ decision
​Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces that he has accepted the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) deployment plan offered by FirstNet and AT&T on behalf of his state, making Texas the 21st state—not including two territories—to “opt-in” to the FirstNet system.
Idaho becomes 20th state to “opt-in” to FirstNet
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter announces that he has accepted the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) deployment plan offered by FirstNet and AT&T on behalf of his state, making Idaho the 20th U.S. state—not including two territories—to “opt-in” to the FirstNet system.
FirstNet will hold ‘opt-out’ states accountable to meeting network policies for 25 years, officials say 2
​States and territories that seek to “opt-out” of FirstNet and build the public-safety LTE radio access network (RAN) within their borders must clear multiple statutory hurdles and be prepared for FirstNet’s ongoing oversight of its RAN operations for the next 25 years, according to FirstNet officials.
Maryland becomes 19th state to ‘opt in’ to FirstNet
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announces that he has accepted the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) deployment plan offered by FirstNet and AT&T on behalf of his state, making Maryland the 19th U.S. state—not including two territories—to “opt-in” to the FirstNet system.
Verizon exec shares carrier’s FirstNet interop goals, Band 14 device plans, why it did not bid against AT&T 1
Verizon hopes its planned public-safety network and applications will interoperate with the FirstNet system—even committing to including FirstNet 700 MHz Band 14 operations in Verizon devices—to give public safety a competitive option, but the carrier has yet to begin formal discussions with FirstNet, according to a Verizon official.
FirstNet to release ‘official’ state plans next week to most states, territories 1
​FirstNet will distribute its final state plans—described as “official” state plans—next week to governors in most states and territories, which will start the statutory 90-day process for these governors to make “opt-in” or “opt-out” decisions by mid-December, a FirstNet official said yesterday.
AT&T CEO says FirstNet hardening will include ‘bunkering,’ ‘redundant perpetual backup power’ 1
AT&T plans to employ hardening approaches such as “bunkering” and “redundant perpetual backup power” within the FirstNet nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) to prevent the type of cell-site outages being experienced in Florida as a result of Hurricane Irma, according to AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.
Cash-strapped public-safety agencies adopting non-P25 technologies with increasing frequency, NPSTC says 6
​An increasing number of public-safety agencies—particularly those with smaller budgets and/or located in rural areas—are opting for land-mobile-radio technologies other than P25, according to John Lenihan, chairman of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) interoperability committee.
FirstNet state plans will include construction-grant figure, but NTIA review process likely to come later
​Governors will learn how much the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) expects to provide their states and territories in construction-grant funding in an “opt-out” scenario when they receive their FirstNet state plans, but details of the NTIA review process likely will not be in the state plans, according to an NTIA official.
Harris County officials detail communications impacts of unprecedented flooding in aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
​While the vast majority of public-safety LMR and LTE sites in Harris County, Texas, have remained operational since the landfall of Hurricane Harvey, unprecedented flooding from the event could result in multiple new policy and resource decisions in the future, according to county officials.
New Hampshire hopes to make ‘opt-in/opt-out’ recommendation to governor by early October
Rivada Networks names U.S. Cellular as the carrier partner for its alternative radio-access-network (RAN) plan for the state of New Hampshire, which is on track to make an “opt-in/opt-out” recommendation to its governor within the next several weeks, according to a state official.