FirstNet Moves Forward on Strategic Program Roadmap in Open Board Meeting

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Ryan Oremland

WESTMINSTER, COLO. – The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board today took a number of actions to ensure continued progress along its strategic program roadmap, including approving resolutions on the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) and the process for evaluating key environmental issues for deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network.

“I would like to emphasize how important the strategic roadmap is to the future of FirstNet,” said Chairwoman Sue Swenson. “We are literally following that roadmap specifically and hopefully that gives you a sense of what has to be done over a period of time and the magnitude of things that have to be accomplished.” The Board unanimously approved two resolutions:

• Public Safety Advisory Committee Charter: The Board’s action formally adopts the committee’s management structure and outlines how the PSAC will coordinate with FirstNet going forward. FirstNet established the PSAC to provide advice and subject matter expertise to assist it in carrying out its duties to design, construct, and deploy a nationwide public safety broadband network. The PSAC is comprised of representatives from state, local, and tribal public safety organizations. It also has at-large members and a federal member.

“The PSAC has played a vital role in advising FirstNet on a number of critical issues and provides great value to FirstNet,” said TJ Kennedy, FirstNet Deputy General Manager. “The approval of this charter will enhance the committee’s operational structure and further strengthen the partnership between the PSAC and FirstNet.” PSAC Chairman Harlin McEwen thanked the FirstNet Board for approving the charter. “We have made a lot of progress in recent months and look forward to continue working with FirstNet as it implements the strategic program roadmap and beyond.”

• National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Process – The Board approved the process for how FirstNet will identify potential environmental and historical preservation impacts associated with the deployment of a public safety broadband network. The resolution approves funding to undertake multiple analyses to evaluate the federal actions and identify best management practices and mitigation measures to reduce potential impacts. Swenson said this resolution and the resulting analyses will be critical to the success of the network. “This will put us in the best possible position to deploy this network under applicable regulatory requirements.”

Board members also discussed consideration of a potential notice and comment process this summer and the actions and outputs from the four committee meetings held the previous day in an open setting
Kennedy provided an update on progress with implementing the strategic roadmap, including recent accomplishments with the state consultation process and outreach to state, local, tribal, and federal first responders. “We are focused on following the roadmap and putting in place the human infrastructure, the technical infrastructure, and the program discipline to execute,” Kennedy said.

Separately, the Board opened today’s meeting by thanking former Chair Samuel “Sam” Ginn for his service over the past two years. ““I would like to start by thanking Sam Ginn for his service, leadership, and strategic vision during a pivotal time in the First Responder Network Authority’s history,” Swenson said. “During Sam’s chairmanship, we have assembled an accomplished management team and staff that are enthusiastic and fully committed to our mission of building a nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety. “

About FirstNet
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 (


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