PSBN Innovation Alliance

About the PSBN Innovation Alliance

As the Federal government contemplates how the Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN) should be proctored across Canada, The PSBN Innovation Alliance has recognized the need to demonstrate leadership through the development of a PSBN Governance framework for the Temporary National Coordination Office’s (TNCO) consideration as a viable model. The TNCO is a key federal entity that has been designated by Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers as being responsible for recommending the preferred PSBN framework in Canada to both the Federal Minister of Public Safety Canada (PSC) and Emergency Preparedness and the Federal Minister of Industry, Science and Economic Development (ISED).

As a result, many public safety organizations and public-private partners in Ontario have led the formation of the first PSBN governance framework in Canada. The PSBN Innovation Alliance group has established working relationships between participating organizations in order to manage, coordinate, promote and maintain an Ontario PSBN. Organizations that have signed onto this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) include First Responder Agencies and participating Municipalities within the Province of Ontario, and other Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) agencies that desire to participate across Canada. On June 17th 2019, the inaugural meeting of this historic PSBN governance committee (PSBN Innovation Alliance), met to begin collaboration on an Ontario PSBN model. The committee has grown exponentially with both public safety and private partner members.

A comprehensive governance structure is an essential part of sustaining working partnerships with respect to a viable PSBN. As agencies join the PSBN Innovation Alliance, a governance model will be required to clearly set out the delineation of roles, responsibilities and decision making authorities.

In addition to governance work, the PSBN Innovation Alliance continues to have ongoing dialogue and engagement with the TNCO. Discussions with the TNCO will continue to focus on our proposed Hybrid PSBN model for Ontario and Canada, policy options and the findings of a published comprehensive 3-volume economic and policy whitepaper on the PSBN.

With regard to next steps for the spectrum, TNCO have released an interim / mid-term report to the general public on June 28th, 2019. Their initial findings are in congruence with one of two models, including the PSBN Innovation Alliance model that proposes a hybrid, flexible and federated approach to proctoring the PSBN. In October 2019, the public solicitation window will be closed, and the TNCO members will then be seized with drafting a final recommendation on a PSBN business and policy model by January 2020.

The final report in January will be presented to a meeting of Federal / Provincial and Territorial Deputy Ministers of Public Safety ministries on or before the end of March 2020. Final acceptance of the recommendations will be relayed to the Ministry of ISED for final preparation of Conditions of License by July 2020. Upon completion of the conditions of license, the Ministry of ISED will, in turn, hold a final RFP process with a final band licensing cost proposal likely to be completed by early 2021. At that time governments will then be in a position to engage in tenders for solicitation of PSBN services in 2021.

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