|Rumors and Innuendos|
As many of you know, I have been very outspoken about the recommendation from the FCC in its National Broadband Report to re-auction the D Block and its assumption that the first responder community can get by with only 10 MHz of broadband spectrum. For the past two years or more, I have written many articles and given many statements to the press that go against these recommendations. Recently, it has been brought to my attention that some people are trying to discredit me and my views by claiming that I am being paid large sums of money to write and speak out against FCC recommendations that are in conflict with my own recommendations.
To set the record straight, I am NOT currently being paid, nor have I been paid at any time during the past two years, by any entity, commercial or government, for my involvement in the issue of public safety and broadband interoperable networks in the 700-MHz band. Quite the contrary, I have spent my own money and my own time on this because I believe this is an extremely important opportunity to finally provide the right tools for the public safety community. I have paid all of my own expenses for travel, for my speaking engagements, and for my writing. I have not taken a single penny from any organization or commercial interest for my work on the D Block on behalf of public safety.
Those who are trying to discredit me have not done so by pointing out any flaws in my logic or recommendations, rather, they are trying to make it appear as though I am a hired gun and that I am saying what others want me to say to help them further their own cause. Nothing is further from the truth. Not only have I given of my time and resources to a cause I believe in, I have actually lost clients because of my stance. I have been willing to give up this income because I feel so strongly that the public safety community needs at least one independent voice that might be heard above all of the rhetoric and politics.
Over the past 30 years, I have provided consulting services, white papers, and educational sessions for many companies around the globe. These include most of the major network operators within the United States, Canada, Japan, China, France, the UK, New Zealand, and elsewhere. I have also provided these services to handset vendors, software developers, and equipment suppliers. I have also worked with and for a number of public safety organizations on a local level, helping them plan to take advantage of the coming broadband opportunity.
During the past two years, I have talked to many companies in the wireless industry to gain a better understanding of commercial technology and the equipment being developed that could help public safety. And I have done this without any compensation or reimbursement for my expenses.
There are some in Washington, DC who cannot understand why a person would spend as much time and effort on behalf of the public safety community without being compensated, and some say very generously. Over the past 40 years, I have been deeply involved in public safety communications issues from a vendor perspective, from a consulting perspective, and from a user of public safety communications systems. I spent more than 15 years helping the major public safety radio companies design and sell systems in many different parts of the nation, and after I went into practice for myself, that experience has proven to be invaluable to me and to my clients. The public safety community is fighting a battle it needs to win, and if I can assist in that effort I will gladly do so, perhaps as a way of giving back to a community that has been good to me over the years, but also because I have been personally involved and I have walked in their shoes. I know of their frustrations when trying to coordinate activities in the field on a daily basis when they cannot even talk to each other.
I am disappointed that those whose ideas I have challenged have decided that my credibility now must be challenged. However, I believe in what I am doing and saying and I will not make this personal or attempt to challenge their credibility. All I am doing is trying to convince them to rethink their position based on different input, more facts, and more accurate data than they have had at their disposal. This is not about a government agency winning. But it is about the public safety community losing at a time when we need its services more than ever. I will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of public safety regardless of the consequences to my reputation or my business. Deep in my heart I know it should not have to be this way—but it is, and I will take whatever lumps lie ahead for me.
Andrew M. Seybold
from his email
It's sad that politics have entered the picture. The FCC with its usual myopic view of the world is short-changing the first responder community. You'd think, that at least in this area, sense would prevail and the needs of our first responders would prevail over greed. Whether a terrorist act, hurricaine or flood, or oil spill, our safety officials must have plenty of resources to meet the emergency.