Advancing Canada's Public Safety Broadband Network: 35 Page Survey Offers Important Insights: Request this Public Safety & Advanced Security Research Today
October 25, 2012

++ Action Item: Executives interested in receiving a copy of CATA’s ADVANCING CANADA’S PUBLIC SAFETY BROADBAND NETWORK SURVEY (35 pages, including Appendix) and/or engaging with us in advancing public safety, advanced security and interoperability advocacy should contact CATA CEO John Reid at jreid@cata.ca

Background:

This survey was conducted in response to Industry Canada’s Consultation on a Policy, Technical and Licensing Framework for Use of the Public Safety Broadband Spectrum in the Bands 758-763 MHz and 788-793 MHz (D Block) and 763-768 MHz and 793-798 MHz (PSBB Block).

The survey received a total of 265 responses, the majority of which (66%) were police, fire and EMS responders. Industry response including telecommunications companies was 13%.

Key highlights include:

§         89% of respondents agree the ‘D’ block spectrum should be reserved for licensing to a Public Safety Network entity

§         78% disagree that the ‘D’ block should be auctioned off to commercial carriers

§         66% disagreed that Industry Canada should permit commercial use of any unused capacity of the 700 MHz spectrum designated for public safety

§         88% of police, fire and EMS respondents believed that the public safety broadband network should be reserved for their exclusive use – the majority of other respondents believe that a broader public safety community can be served on this network

§         79% disagreed with the idea of the general public being provided with commercial services over this network

§         Prioritization of service and pre-emption will be critical needs over this network, especially if the public safety user base is expanded beyond police, fire and EMS, and even moreso should commercial carriers be mandated to provide this network through an auction win of this spectrum

§         67% disagree that the public safety network entity should be charged a licence fee for this spectrum on par with that charged to a commercial carrier and 77% agree any licence fee should be eliminated or dramatically reduced

§         Public Safety Canada was seen as the Federal Department required to take the lead in the development of a public safety network entity – the organization required to own the licence and set interoperability and other standards

§         The most critical eligibility factors for a successful deployment of a public safety national entity are: Governance and representation; funding; and, mandate

§         Industry Canada is urged to make LTE the public safety broadband network standard with 67% of survey respondents encouraging this decision

Key conclusions of the report cover areas such as licensing, commercial use of the network, eligibility criteria for the public safety national entity, Industry Canada mandate recommendations, and industry involvement.

Research Oversight Committee:

The questions were developed in collaboration with the following individuals/organizations:

§         Mike Barker, Strategic Projects Team, Motorola Solutions Canada, Inc.

§         Émilie Brown, Senior Policy Analyst, Emergency Management Planning Division, Public Safety Canada

§         Marten Burns, Senior Regulatory Legal Counsel, TELUS

§         Terry S. Canning, CET, CRSP, Provincial Interoperability Coordinator, Public Safety & Field Communications, Province of Nova Scotia

§         Al Ittner, Sr. Manager, Spectrum Strategy, Motorola Solutions

§         Jim Peter Safar, President, Inter-Op Canada, Inc.

§         Bernard St-Laurent, Project Manager - 700 MHz Spectrum, Emergency Management Planning Division, Centre for Security Science

§         Michael Sullivan, Vice President, Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs

§         Tim Trytten, Manager, Telecommunications and Specialty Systems, Emergency Management British Columbia

§         Lance Valcour, Executive Director, Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group

§         Kevin Wennekes, Vice President Research, Canadian Advance Technology Alliance