Steven Polunsky, Alabama Transportation Policy Research Center

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Municipal governments have many competing demands for their attention. Time, money, and management capacity are stretched. Policy makers, managers, and their information technology departments are focused on networks and cybersecurity and fixing the things that break. The Internet of Things, 5G, use of crowdsourcing, and other urgent issues bring a constant stream of concerns and vendors to their door. Why should cities care about Position, Navigation, Timing (PNT)? Should city governments be taking action to ensure their uses of PNT and their citizens’ reliance on PNT for a wide range of everyday needs can be resilient and available under adverse circumstances? Even if they are persuaded of the need to take active measures to safeguard PNT as used by city governments and their citizens, how to they go about assessing needs, identifying vulnerabilities, implementing solutions? Despite efforts at the federal level, municipal involvement in the Global Positioning System (GPS), other Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), and PNT policymaking has been minimal. Should cities become more directly involved in policymaking, and how would they accomplish that mission? Objectives of this research include identifying where cities fit in the PNT ecosphere, their awareness of PNT-related issues, whether and how they are approaching these issues, and actions they can take to improve their service to citizens and travelers. Lessons from other areas will be applied, such as the resource typing construct used in FEMA’s National Incident Management System, to develop best practices for city PNT activity. This work will guide cities in addressing this important area and assist policymakers in efforts to involve cities in the development and implication of PNT processes.