Sen. Rockefeller assails Motorola Solutions' FirstNet lobbying

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) is not happy with some of Motorola Solutions' alleged lobbying tactics, which he contends are aimed at undermining the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and its efforts to craft the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN).

As reported by Multichannel News, Rockefeller sent a letter to Motorola Solutions President Gregory Brown, accusing the company of trying to defend its business model by interfering with FirstNet's efforts. "I will not stand by while your company continues to defend a business plan solely because you are unwilling to make the investments and commitments necessary to be a true competitor on the new level playing field for public safety communications equipment," Rockefeller wrote.

The senator suggested that Motorola start making devices for FirstNet and stop defending its dominance in public safety, which has long used "costly, and often proprietary, equipment."

Motorola did not directly respond to Rockefeller's allegations but issued a statement obtained by Multichannel News that reiterates the vendor's support for FirstNet.

"It should be noted that Motorola was a strong supporter of the legislation that created FirstNet, and the company believes the law that established FirstNet should be implemented to give all public safety end-users fair and reasonable access to this critical resource. Again, our objective is to help make FirstNet a success and enable local first responders to do their jobs more safely and effectively," said Motorola.

However, Rockefeller contended in his letter that despite Motorola's public support for FirstNet, the vendor is nonetheless "financing a public relations and lobbying campaign to erode support for FirstNet."

FirstNet is holding a special board meeting via teleconference today at 10:30 a.m. EDT, during which the Special Review Committee investigating allegations regarding transparency and conflict-of-interest issues related to FirstNet's board.

For more:
- see this Multichannel News article

Related articles:
FirstNet investigation ongoing, initial report nearing completion
FirstNet's Fitzgerald provides update on Special Review Committee
Motorola Solutions addresses FirstNet allegations, NTIA hands out $13.1M
FirstNet: Mississippi halts BTOP program, Motorola Solutions accused of unsavory lobbying