Wednesday, March 28, 2018


New FirstNet Core Brings Specialized Experience to Public Safety, Giving First Responders Capabilities They’ve Never Had Before
First responders perform a specialized job. And with the launch of the FirstNet network core, first responders now have access to a truly specialized communications system that can keep up with their needs.
FirstNet is the country’s first nationwide public safety communications platform dedicated to first responders in times of need. Built with AT&T*, in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority, FirstNet is bringing public safety a much-needed technology upgrade.
“The launch of the network core comes a year into the FirstNet public-private partnership. It’s been a non-stop 12 months. And we’re proud of the quick progress we’ve made in this short timeframe, consistently delivering on or ahead of schedule,” said Chris Sambar, senior vice president, AT&T – FirstNet. “But bringing the FirstNet network core to life is one of the most exciting milestones yet.”
What this means for first responders
While we’ve already given first responders access to the early benefits of FirstNet, the launch of the FirstNet evolved packet core is a major breakthrough for public safety. Built on physically separate hardware, it finally gives first responders their own separate, nationwide broadband network. And it’s being certified by the First Responder Network Authority, so first responders can be confident that it’s a solution they can count on.
“This is what public safety has spent years advocating for,” said Scott Edson, executive director, Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communication System (LA-RICS). “We knew giving first responders a network that they could truly call their own was possible from our work on LA-RICS – 1 of 5 FirstNet early builder projects. But to see public safety’s network core roar to life nationwide, well, there are no words for how meaningful that is. We at LA-RICS look forward to connecting our sites to the FirstNet network core.”
How it works
The evolved packet core operates like the brain and nervous system of FirstNet. It:
  • Creates and controls the FirstNet experience, which is only available to FirstNet subscribers.
  • Processes and carries public safety’s vital information.
  • Unlocks critical capabilities, like First Priority™, to help law enforcement, EMS and fire respond to unfolding incidents around them.
  • Forms the basis for the unified, interoperable and nationwide communications system that public safety envisioned.
Built from the ground up, the FirstNet evolved packet core is designed to meet the needs of first responders. It was designed on the objectives and standards provided by the First Responder Network Authority based on years of consultation with public safety.
The evolved packet core distinguishes FirstNet from other network offerings. We believe public safety has never had access to something like this.
“Outdated communications capabilities are a threat to public safety. We’ve seen it repeatedly when disasters strike – from September 11, the Boston Marathon and Parkland,” said Ed Davis, former Boston police commissioner. “We’ve been advocating for the future of communications to bring us a modern solution that will empower us with next generation tools. And with FirstNet, that future is here, giving us an experience we can’t get on any commercial network.
“Those on the front lines can now evolve the way we communicate, using mission-critical text and data on top of voice to ensure we are connected to as much information as possible to achieve our missions. Because the more connected we can be, the more protected we can be.”
Creating the network core
We’ve been working on the FirstNet evolved packet core since early 2017, putting hundreds of millions of dollars behind it. 
And while all networks have a core, this is the first-ever evolved packet core dedicated entirely to public safety. Only FirstNet traffic will move through the core.
To do this, we built the FirstNet evolved packet core on physically separate hardware, which will effectively separate public safety’s traffic from commercial traffic. It’s like having a super highway that only public safety can use. Other highways at times have lanes filled bumper to bumper with consumer, commercial and public safety users.
To keep all traffic on the FirstNet evolved packet core protected, it is designed with a defense-in-depth approach that helps maintain security at every level. It also will be monitored 24/7/365 by a dedicated Security Operations Center with a dedicated team of experts.
Their sole focus is to watch over the security of the network, analyzing all traffic that crosses the network core to identify and help mitigate possible threats. And with more than 197 petabytes of data crossing the AT&T global network on an average business day, we bring the right expertise to manage a highly secure network for FirstNet.
The First Responder Network Authority can check in on the network at any time through a custom portal that provides full visibility into the Security Operations Center.
Fostering new capabilities
The FirstNet network core will serve as a springboard for ongoing innovation and advanced functionality, delivering value-added capabilities and benefits that commercial cores can’t match.  
  • First responders on the FirstNet evolved packet core can now access First Priority™. This turns FirstNet’s always-on access to priority and preemption up a notch, giving first responders 2 more priority levels. With 3 options at their fingertips, public safety agencies will have the ability to assign priority levels based on their command structure or shifting needs.
  • The launch of the FirstNet evolved packet core also unlocks the Incident Management Portal. This puts public safety in control of their network resources. Depending on the event or emergency, public safety may need to uplift critical users to the highest priority levels. Using the Incident Management Portal, they can make these adjustments in near real time to help first responders stay safe and save lives. Public safety can also temporarily uplift other non-first responder users that are essential to managing the incident – like utilities or transportation.
  • The FirstNet evolved packet core will continue to deliver a range of next-generation public safety capabilities. First responders can look forward to future technologies like mission-critical Push-to-Talk, z-Axis location-based services and more.
Moving to the FirstNet evolved packet core
While the FirstNet evolved packet core was under construction, first responders were utilizing the AT&T commercial core to access the early benefits of FirstNet. But now that the FirstNet evolved packet core has launched, we can begin moving users to this new, dedicated experience. We’ll start with a controlled introduction with a limited customer set while the First Responder Network Authority completes its extensive testing of the network core. 
Once the controlled introduction wraps, more FirstNet customers will be moved – likely in the April/May timeframe.
“We’ve been transitioning to FirstNet to take advantage of our network – a network designed for and being built just for us. And we’ve already seen the tremendous difference FirstNet can make in helping us cut through the clutter and get access to the vital information we need to keep ourselves and those we protect out of harm’s way,” said Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk. “That was before the launch of the FirstNet network core. So, we’re expecting it to only get better from here, which we believe will continue to improve our operations.”
Since this is public safety’s network, it brings first responders their own dedicated FirstNet SIM. And moving to the FirstNet evolved packet core may be as simple as swapping out the commercial SIM card with a FirstNet SIM card.
With the launch of the FirstNet evolved packet core, users can now also take advantage of recently announced FirstNet-ready devices. This includes popular mobile devices like the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+. Rugged mobile devices like the Sonim XP8 and XP5s will be coming soon. And the FirstNet SIM will also work with other devices, but firmware updates may be required.
The NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 Mobile router – a mobile hotspot router – is another product that will accept the FirstNet SIM. First responders can use the NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 Mobile router to provide the in-vehicle mobile connectivity they need.


Monday, March 19, 2018

Three Feet From Gold

Three Feet From Gold

The most common cause of failures is the habit of quitting when overwhelmed by temporary defeat.

R.U. Darby, now one of the most successful insurance salesman in the U.S. went West for the gold rush, and found a major strike.

He raised money from friends and family for equipment, and the mine proved to be one of the richest mines in Colorado.

As they continued drilling the vein disappeared. They continued drilling desperately but to no avail.They finally decided to quit and sold their machinery to junk men before heading back East.

Before disassembling the machinery the junk men called in an engineer to assess the mine. The engineer determined the main vein to be a few feet deeper.

Three feet further is precisely where that main vein was found yielding a massive fortune.

Darby however profited from this experience.

“I stopped three feet from gold, but I will never stop because men say ‘no’ when I ask them to buy insurance.”

He owed his stickability to the hard lesson learned from his quitabiltiy.


Friday, March 2, 2018

Attitude Is Everything—Here’s How to Keep It Positive

am not much of a TV watcher, and when I do tune in, I’m usually half-watching, half-working on something else. But sometimes you learn things from unexpected places, and it so happens that a recent Gatorade commercial grabbed my attention.
The ad shows some of the world’s best athletes, like Michael Jordan and Peyton Manning, remarking on their failures—Jordan’s inability to make his high school varsity team, Manning’s abysmal rookie season—and how those defeats redoubled their drive.
What a powerful message. Even Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan makes an appearance, acknowledging his team’s mind-blowing, fourth-quarter Super Bowl fall to the Patriots in 2017 and implying that he, too, would grow from the experience.
This is the time of the year when we think about recharging, renewing and redefining ourselves. People this month will do anything, from joining a gym to embarking on a spiritual retreat.

"Whether you are 15 years old or 50, your outlook toward life is always under construction."

These are worthy endeavors, but there’s a more life-altering change we can make in the mode of those superstar athletes. What each of them has done is adjust their attitudes. They see life through a positive lens, no matter what it throws their way. That optimism fuels them, focuses them, and allows them to put setbacks in perspective.
Attitude can be our best friend or worst enemy, the librarian of our past, the speaker of our present and the prophet of our future. In short, I believe attitude is the biggest determinant of our quality of life.
There are people who seem perpetually perky and whose good nature appears as innate as their eye color. But attitude is not a fixed state. Whether you are 15 years old or 50, your outlook toward life is always under construction. It’s never too late to change it. If your attitude is deflating you, here’s how to pump it up.

1. Evaluate your current attitude.

This is the hardest step in the process. You need to detach from yourself and take a hard look at how you respond to situations.
  • Identify your problem feelings. What attitudes make you feel most negative about yourself?
  • Identify your problem behaviors. What actions create conflict between you and others?
  • Identify your problem thinking. What thoughts cloud or control your mind?

2. Write a statement of purpose.

If your biggest flaw is impatience with others, for example, vow to take a deep breath, listen to them more carefully and develop empathy—an ability to see situations through other people’s eyes. If your downfall is complaining, learn to smile, speak positive words, or if all else fails, silence yourself entirely.

3. Find new words.

If you were trying to motivate other people, you’d pump them up, wouldn’t you? You’d offer words of support, encouragement and inspiration.
Do you do the same for yourself? So many people I’ve met—people with tremendous potential—shortchange themselves with a self-defeating internal voice. I can’t. I doubt. I don’t think. I don’t have the time. I’m afraid. I don’t believe.
This self-doubt darkens our attitudes, limits our success and casts a shadow over our lives. The fix is easy: Change the language. I can. I expect the best. I know. I’ll make the time. I am confident. I believe.

4. Rewire your thought patterns.

Our feelings come from our thoughts. We can change them by changing our thought patterns.
It’s our thoughts, not our circumstances, that determine our happiness. Often, people are convinced they will be happy when they attain a certain goal. When they do, they are surprised and disappointed to discover that they don’t feel fulfilled. What they don’t realize is the act of filling one’s mind with good thoughts every day, regardless of what’s going on in their lives, will bring more overall satisfaction than the one-time high of a job well done.

5. Develop good habits.

An attitude is nothing more than a habit of thought. Habits aren’t instincts; they’re acquired actions. They don’t just happen; they are caused. Many people allow their habits to control them. That’s good if the habits enhance our quality of life. If not, well, life becomes cloudy indeed. You can change your habits. Here’s how:
  •  List your bad habits.
  •  Determine the root cause(s) behind them.
  •  Determine a positive habit to replace a bad one.
  •  Take action to develop that.
  •  Act upon this new habit daily.
  •  Reward yourself by noting one of the benefits of this new habit.
I see habit change as a process, so don’t dismay if you don’t see results overnight. The early stages will be the hardest. Those bad habits want to remain in control. In the middle stages, you’re on the proverbial fence, deciding whether to step fully onto the other side or tumble back into your old ways. In the late stage, you’ve successfully corrected a flaw and are enjoying the attitudinal shift that comes with it. But beware: Complacency is the enemy. Just ask anyone who has lost weight only to gain it back.
Back to that Gatorade commercial, where tennis great Serena Williams looks dead-on at the camera, steely-eyed. Her secret to victory was being “on the wrong side in the biggest upset of your sport,” a reference to her stunning fall in the 2015 U.S. Open to Roberta Vinci, an unseeded player from Italy.
Two years later, she became the only tennis player, man or woman, to win 23 singles Grand Slam titles in the Open era.
“I’ve had to learn to fight all my life—got to learn to keep smiling,” she says. “If you smile, things will work out.”