WASHINGTON – The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board today voted to proceed toward several important milestones along the authority’s preliminary strategic roadmap – a course of action designed to ensure the building and management of a nationwide, interoperable, public safety communications network. The roadmap will assist in developing a definitive business plan, along with comprehensive state-based outreach and consultation plans.
“FirstNet’s mission is to ensure that a nationwide, interoperable, wireless broadband network is built for the public safety community,” stated FirstNet General Manager Bill D’Agostino. “We want to make rapid progress for public safety, while balancing the need for robust design and cost-effectiveness,” continued D’Agostino. “We plan to have significant coverage across the U.S. through use of terrestrial coverage similar to what wireless carriers have today. We believe we have charted a course to prove out a successful FirstNet for public safety.”
The approved roadmap focuses on several milestones required for the development of a definitive business plan. Those steps include:
- Staffing and resourcing the organization;
- Completing an open, transparent, and competitive process for comprehensive network proposals based upon FirstNet LTE performance requirements, operating standards, and certified devices;
- Completing an open, transparent, and competitive process for network equipment and service proposals based on detailed technical requirements, resulting in multiple awards that could supplement or substitute for all or part of a comprehensive network proposal;
- In conjunction with each the comprehensive network and network equipment and services processes, obtaining proposals for covered leasing agreements that will provide value for our excess network capacity;
- Completing testing and validation of critical features and functionality of the network;
- Conducting state outreach and completing state consultation; and
- Reviewing aggregated information to determine pricing for approval by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).
Separately, the Board voted today to approve the Human Factor Report delivered by the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). The PSAC was previously asked by FirstNet to analyze the long-range impacts of the planed network on the way law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS) operate.
FirstNet will provide emergency responders with the first high-speed, nationwide network dedicated to public safety. FirstNet is designed to improve communication among local, state, regional, tribal and national emergency services personnel. The broadband data network will help save lives and protect the health and safety of all Americans. It will be built using LTE, the most advanced wireless technology available today. FirstNet fulfills a fundamental need of the public safety community for a single, mission-critical communications system enabling force multiplier effectiveness. Overseen by representatives of public safety, government and the wireless industry, FirstNet is an independent entity within the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (www.firstnet.gov).