TechNOW Interview with Ernest MacGillivray: "It's a whole new world" – describing the future of the Public Safety Broadband Network
May 25, 2015

Watch CATAAlliance's Chief Business Officer, Kevin Wennekes, as he interviews Ernest MacGillivray Alignment Champion, Public Safety, Province of New Brunswick regarding the developments of a national Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN) for Canada.

In this 10-minute interview, you will hear Mr. MacGillivray provide a brief history of the campaign that was required to obtain the 700 MHz spectrum and how this experience now lends itself to advancing the next stage of the campaign focussed on the establishment of the network itself. He compares how the challenges in establishing the new public alerting capabilities in Canada could provide guidance in advancing the PSBN. He describes how the PSBN is a game changer for Canada and its potential impact not only to the public safety community but to Canada's innovation agenda and digital economy.

Key outtakes:

"Linking the development of capabilities using public sector broadband and economic development through innovation is probably the best play in order to get government support for this."

"Now that we have dedicated 700 Mhz spectrum it opens the door to all the economies of scale, larger bulk purchasing by the public safety community of not only handsets but the core infrastructure that would support this network ."

"We're going to need a lot of contributors to this who aren't government departments of public safety or aren't police force or fire departments. We're going to need other contributors and they are  going to have to derive some benefit from that whether it's frequency swaps, or whether we rent spectrum and use revenue from that to help pay for the build out of capabilities... we don't know yet as we haven't had those chats. It will be a long road and we're going to have to have an open mind."

Watch the full video here:

Visit CATAAlliance's Public Safety Advisory Board page for Mr. MacGillivray's recent biography.

Public Safety Broadband Network Video Campaign

Each week, CATAAlliance will interview an individual authority or panel of experts on a wide range of topics related to the development of a PSBN, and speakers will represent domestic and global private, public and academic interests. As such, conversations will cover a wide range of related issues, including:

  • Defining the use and applications of a PSBN

  • Exploring possible governance models, interoperability standards, and policy needs

  • Defining technology and architecture needs

  • Understanding the Private-Public Partnerships that will be required

  • Exploring a PSBN's potential impact on real-time situational awareness

  • Understanding a PSBN's potential impact on deployment under certain scenarios

  • Discovering what operational efficiencies may be realized

  • Showcasing and promoting current research initiatives

  • Internationally-informed lessons learned or best practices

To be kept regularly updated on the broadcast schedule, contact Kevin Wennekes at asking to be included in future correspondence on this initiative, join his or CATAAlliance's many social media platforms, or regularly review the CATASecure site for updates.

Next Broadcast Date

Join Kevin Wennekes as he interviews Pierre Poirier, Executive Director, Paramedic Association of Canada, on May 28 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Use this link to access the live broadcast at the scheduled date and time:

Related PSBN Videos

Eric Torunski, Executive Director of the Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group, and Steve Palmer, Executive Director of the Collaborative Centre for Justice and Safety at the University of Regina:

Honourable Vernon White, Senator, Senate of Canada: