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Coverage Mapping Frequently Asked Questions

Coverage Mapping Frequently Asked Questions

How was the initial coverage objective determined?

FirstNet incorporated several datasets into their initial coverage objective, such as census population and critical infrastructure and key resources. They merged these datasets into a common 1×1 mile grid (see FirstNet publication here for a detailed explanation of their methodology). The Texas Public Safety Broadband Program (TxPSBP) added new datasets to the FirsNet coverage objective, resulting in the initial Texas Coverage Objective, which was submitted to FirstNet on Sept. 30, 2015.

How was the Texas Coverage Objective determined?

The TxPSBP took the initial FirstNet coverage objective explained above and modified it with additional data layers. First, we added a coverage objective for all TXDOT-recognized hurricane evacuation routes. Second, we collected one year’s worth of 911 call data from many PSAPs around the state. These call locations were merged into the same 1×1 mile grid system as FirstNet’s coverage objective. Any grid with a 911 call was also marked as a coverage objective. We then merged the three layers together and changed the color scheme to blue

What do the different shades of blue on the Texas Coverage Objective map mean?

The different shades of blue correspond to different levels of broadband capacity/concentration in a given grid square. The lighter shades of blue found mostly in urban areas and along busy roadways indicate a higher level of broadband capacity is needed. The State did not make any changes to the original FirstNet concentration classification, only to the color palette. All grid coverage blocks added by the TxPSBP’s methodology were added at the “Low” or dark blue concentration

Does providing input guarantee future coverage from FirstNet?

No. The State will evaluate all first responder submissions and pass them on to FirstNet. While your input is critical to building an effective Texas network, FirstNet will ultimately prioritize where the network is installed.

Another agency already nominated my area of interest, should I still nominate an area on behalf of my agency?

Yes. Having justifications and perspectives from multiple agencies can help make a stronger case for FirstNet in your area of interest.

Why can’t I nominate my entire jurisdiction on the map (for example, my county’s boundaries)?

It is important to note that the areas shown in the coverage objective are where FirstNet intends to install permanent, terrestrial coverage. Because fixed LTE infrastructure is expensive to install, and because FirstNet and its vendor partner(s) will have a limited initial budget with which to begin network construction, there will be gaps in the primary network service area for many years to come. Knowing these limitations, FirstNet has asked the states to prioritize their coverage area needs. The TxPSBP welcomes all local input to the network, but areas that can show a strong need for PSBN coverage are more likely to be covered.

Can I go back and make edits to a shape that I already submitted?

While you are in the same internet browser session, you may edit any shapes you have drawn or fields you have entered. Once you end your browser session, your inputs will only be editable by the site administrators.

Can I pass this link on to someone I know at another agency?

Yes, first responder input is always welcome. Remember that there are two versions of the map, one that is editable and one that is view-only. Please be sure to also forward along the accompanying message and instructions that we sent out with the initial link.

Is my input/information confidential? Who will see my input?

The information you input is not confidential in the editor version of the map. For users who visit the view-only version of the map, your contact information (name, email, phone) will be hidden, while your agency and coverage justification will be visible. Please contact the Texas Public Safety Broadband Program directly if you have any concerns.

When is my feedback due?

We will accept feedback using this map tool through at least the third quarter of 2016.

Is it too late to fill out the Mobile Data Survey?

The Mobile Data Survey is still available on our website, as is the Introduction to Texas Public Safety Broadband course, which is eligible for Continuing Education credit.