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Canada Takes Key Step Toward Public Safety Broadband Network

April 23, 2015

By Christopher Algiere, FirstNet Federal Outreach Branch Chief
Looking back at the United States’ efforts to establish an interoperable wireless broadband network for public safety entities, there were many key milestones along the way that enabled us to start this important work on behalf of first responders.

Washington, D.C. Initial Consultation Meeting

April 22, 2015

By Dave Buchanan, FirstNet Director of State Consultation
Members of the FirstNet Consultation team were in the District of Columbia last month for the Washington, D.C. initial consultation meeting. Cathy Lanier, Chief of Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department, welcomed the nearly 70 attendees on behalf of Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser and delivered opening remarks that led to a productive dialogue between the city and FirstNet over the day and a half meeting.

Public Safety Applications: Helping to Improve Situational Awareness for First Responders

April 20, 2015

By Kyle S. Richardson, Public Affairs Specialist
Providing the first responder with instant access to critical information in the field in order to improve operations is necessary to position public safety into the next generation. However, in an era where society is becoming more reliant upon our handy mobile devices to conduct everything from making restaurant reservations to day-to-day business, often law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical personnel lack these same resources.

Recap of Two-Day SPOC Meeting

April 17, 2015

By Amanda Hilliard, FirstNet Director of Outreach
This week, FirstNet welcomed more than 125 public safety representatives from 52 states and territories to Reston, VA, for a two-day meeting focused on state and territory planning for the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN). We were pleased to have dozens of state single point of contacts (SPOCs) in attendance, as well as SPOC team members and eight members of the Tribal Working Group of the Public Safety Advisory Committee.

Securing a Public Safety Broadband Network with Identity Management

April 16, 2015

This blog is a repost from the NIST Tech Beat.
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), part of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), is building a nationwide public safety broadband network to provide first responders with access to 21st century communication technology that improves safety and security.

Recognizing the First Responder Community

April 14, 2015

This week is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (NPSTW). It is a time to celebrate and thank those who serve in the public safety communications community for their dedication to creating a better and safer world.

Planning for FirstNet, The Dedicated Nationwide Public Safety Network

April 10, 2015

By TJ Kennedy, Acting Executive Director, First Responder Network Authority
The First Responder Network Authority (“FirstNet”), grew out of a 9/11 Commission recommendation calling for interoperable communications for all U.S. first responders. As you likely know, many emergency response teams ― fire, EMS, and law enforcement ― had difficulty communicating with each other on September 11, 2001. Communications difficulties can slow response times, create confusion, and on 9/11 may have prevented public safety personnel from saving lives.

FirstNet Presentations from IWCE 2015

April 9, 2015

Several members of the FirstNet team attended the 2015 International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) last month in Las Vegas, where they were joined by many FirstNet state single points of contact (SPOCs) and members of their teams. The conference was a great opportunity for FirstNet to highlight progress and get feedback from attendees. In total, there were more than seven-thousand representatives from the public safety community and private sector in attendance at IWCE.

Nebraska Initial Consultation Meeting

April 8, 2015

Claudia Wayne, FirstNet Senior Advisor
The Nebraska (NE) Initial Consultation brought a total of 117 public safety stakeholders to Kearney for the two-day event March 18-19. NE State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) Manager Bob Wilhelm welcomed the group and provided some important examples of how broadband technology can enhance public safety in Nebraska. He discussed several events, including the College World Series, held each year at the TD Ameritrade stadium in Omaha. This event creates a tremendous drain on existing broadband networks as tens of thousands of people simultaneously make calls, send social media messages, and text data files.

April 2015 FirstNet Stakeholder Quarterly Webinar

April 6, 2015

By Kristi Wilde, FirstNet Outreach Coordinator
Last week the FirstNet User Advocacy Team held the second quarterly webinar for our state and territory Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) in 2015. We anticipated broad stakeholder interest in our follow-up content from the recent Board meeting, so the webinar was expanded to include Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) members and the PSAC Tribal Working Group (TWG). We were very pleased with the turnout, with participants from at least 40 states and territories, a dozen PSAC members, and five members of the PSAC TWG.

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