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RESTON, VA – The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Finance Committee today approved funding guidance to advance FirstNet’s top priorities in Fiscal Year 2016 (FY16), including the release of a Request for Proposal(s) (RFP) for the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN), further consultation with a broad range of public safety stakeholders, and a spectrum relocation grant program to ensure unencumbered spectrum for the network.
The Committee held a special meeting via a public teleconference today during which it unanimously approved Finance Committee Resolution 9. The FirstNet Board will consider the Committee’s recommended budget during a special Board meeting on August 17, 2015.
“The proposed budget ensures continued progress along the Strategic Program Roadmap toward a final RFP for the network and takes our consultation with stakeholders to the next level,” said FirstNet Chair Sue Swenson, who is a member of the Finance Committee. "It also supports the growth and evolution of the organization, while at the same taking a measured approach to our operations to ensure judicious spending,” Swenson said.
Under the resolution approved today, the Committee recommends management be authorized to obligate spending up to $126 million in FY16, including $86 million on acquisition activities to include finalization and evaluation of the RFP and spectrum relocation; $28.7 million for consultation and outreach to the states, territories, federal agencies, tribal governments, and local jurisdictions; and $11.3 million in corporate services and other expenses.
“This budget identifies key milestones to ensure FirstNet remains on track and on time to implement our acquisition and conduct consultation,” said FirstNet Acting Executive Director TJ Kennedy. “This includes an aggressive consultation and outreach strategy for FY16 that will lead to critical input for the design of state plans for the network.”
FirstNet has been obligated by Congress to take all actions necessary to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide public safety broadband network for local, state, regional, tribal, and federal 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 that consists of the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General of the United States, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and representatives from public safety, government, and the wireless industry (www.firstnet.gov).