By David Buchanan, FirstNet Director of Consultation
Yesterday, FirstNet officially launched its consultation program for the upcoming year, sending planning packages to the single points of contact (SPOCs) in all 56 states and territories. The package provides an overview of our consultation approach and includes a number of tools to assist the SPOCs with preparing for consultation, including a checklist and proposed agenda to help organize their kick-off meetings, as well as suggestions for executive-level consultation in their states and territories.
As we discussed at the October SPOC meeting, the November SPOC webinar, and the December Board meetings, FirstNet has developed three goals to guide our consultation activities next year. They include: (1) expanding outreach and education with state/territory, tribal, local, and public safety entities, (2) obtaining state and territory input to inform State Plans and network deployment policies, processes, and procedures, and (3) preparing key decision makers for State Plan delivery and network deployment.
Overall, we have designed this consultation program to give the states and territories both the opportunity and the flexibility to provide input into the State Plan process. We are extremely pleased with how the initial consultation process worked in 2014 and 2015 and are looking forward to our ongoing consultation efforts with the states and territories in 2016 and beyond.