Robert D. Gaudioso spoke as a panelist and moderated a panel at the International Wireless Communications Expo 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada entitled “The Legal and Regulatory Issues: Opting In or Opting Out of FirstNet,” and “Ten Uses for Drones in Public Safety and Critical Infrastructure.”

Robert was honored to be a panelist with TJ Kennedy, President of FirstNet, Mike Barney, Director of Public Safety Solutions for Kodiak, and George Molnar, Molnar & Associates, during a detailed discussion regarding the feasibility of individual states Opting-Out of FirstNet. Robert provided his viewpoint of the challenges an Opt Out State may face based on New York State’s failed attempt to create a state-wide public safety network, as well as the benefits a State may realize based on his experience as counsel to Northrop Grumman during the successful deployment of New York City’s wireless broadband public safety and public service network known as NYCWiN. Robert has recently counseled a large system integrator in connection with its response to the State of Colorado’s Request for Information pertaining to a potential FirstNet opt-out scenario.

On the panel moderated by Robert, the discussion focused on the fact that Drones, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, are quickly becoming valuable assets to Public Safety and the tower industry. While anticipated federal legislation is expected to ease the regulatory burdens for commercial operators, numerous pitfalls remain for any agency or company seeking to invest in this technology without the proper guidance and counseling. Logan Campbell of Aerota, Greg Emerick of Sentera, Charles Werner, retired Fire Chief for the Charlottesville Fire Department, Brandon Diemer of the Bureau of Land Management, Jim Somers of the Department of Homeland Security and Kim Cook of CyPhy Works, Inc. explained to the audience the steps necessary to successfully implement the use of drones.