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RESTON, VA – The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board took key steps today to ensure the continued success of its strategic program roadmap and enable FirstNet to move toward a comprehensive acquisition strategy for the nationwide public safety broadband network. The FirstNet Board approved resolutions designed to generate valuable perspectives from public safety, industry, and the general public on important foundational issues regarding the development of the network.
“Today’s actions demonstrate FirstNet’s ongoing commitment to the program roadmap that we approved in March 2014 and offer additional opportunities for stakeholders to provide us with feedback on key considerations for executing our network strategy,” Chairwoman Sue Swenson said during today’s Board meeting held at FirstNet’s headquarters in Reston, VA. “The FirstNet Board and management team have made significant progress implementing the roadmap over the last six months, and because of that we are well positioned for continued success.”
The roadmap outlines several key milestones that FirstNet intends to accomplish, including (1) initiating a public notice and comment process on certain program procedures, policies, and statutory interpretations; (2) releasing a draft request for comprehensive network proposals for comments; (3) releasing draft requests for certain network and equipment services proposals for comment; and (4) beginning formal state consultations.
Today, the Board approved three resolutions that move FirstNet closer to achieving program roadmap milestones, including:
• Resolution 60, “Public Notice on Statutory Interpretations,” approves a Public Notice requesting comment on certain preliminary interpretations of FirstNet’s enabling legislation, The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012;
• Resolution 61, “Comprehensive Network Solution Request for Information and Statement of Objectives,” approves the issuance of an RFI and draft Statement of Objectives to augment FirstNet’s market research efforts for developing a comprehensive network acquisition strategy;
• Resolution 62, “Fiscal Year 2015 Budget” approves $120 million for FirstNet’s management budget in FY 2015.
Also at today’s Board meeting, FirstNet Acting General Manager TJ Kennedy provided an update on another critical milestone of the program roadmap - the state plan consultation process. “The consultation process is off to a positive start and will evolve as FirstNet works through the acquisition process,” he said. “State plan consultation is an iterative and collaborative process that will help inform the development of the RFPs, the delivery of the state plans, and the design and build out of the network.”
Today’s Board meeting was the first for the five new board members who were appointed earlier this month by Department of Commerce Secretary Pritzker. Swenson congratulated them on joining the Board and thanked them for their contributions to the FirstNet Committee and Board meetings. Yesterday, the FirstNet Outreach, Finance, and Technology Committees approved resolutions within the scope of their subject matter responsibilities on the fiscal year 2015 budget, the public notice, and the RFI.
FirstNet will ensure the establishment of the first nationwide public safety broadband network. The network will improve communications among local, state, regional, tribal and national first responders. FirstNet is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration that is governed by a 15-member Board appointed by the Secretary of Commerce that consists of representatives from public safety, government, and the wireless industry (www.firstnet.gov).