Recently, law enforcement and fire chiefs from around the country joined the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) in Reston, Va., to help implement the recently released Roadmap and kick-off a new approach to engagements with the public safety community.
Meeting with stakeholders at the Joint Fire Services and Law Enforcement Leadership Roadmap Forum, our advocacy team zeroed in on the Voice Communications and Situational Awareness domains in the Roadmap, with discussions focusing on police and fire’s operational needs in these areas. Those in attendance helped guide the conversation toward actionable outcomes and solutions for the network, based on their most pressing needs.
The forum also served as an important next step in our public safety advocacy efforts around the Roadmap. Our new approach will build upon the engagement model that we have used – and public safety has come to rely on and trust – for several years. Just as public safety helped us develop the State Plans and the Roadmap, they will continue to be the most valuable source of information in our efforts to improve, expand, and innovate for FirstNet.
Under the new approach, our engagement efforts will strive to be more targeted, issue specific, and outcome oriented, so at the end of the day, the FirstNet Authority and the stakeholders are able to identify tangible solutions for the network. Public safety’s feedback will also help inform the FirstNet Authority’s programs and activities, including investment opportunities for the network.
These engagements may take on many forms, including agency workshops; observations of planned events; stakeholder summits; smaller, focus group settings; and others. However, no matter the format, our engagements are built upon three key pillars:
- Stakeholder Relationships: Public safety is at the heart of the FirstNet mission and all of the work we do here at the FirstNet Authority. As the network grows and evolves, we will continue to look to our partners in the public safety community for their honest feedback on how the FirstNet Authority can best improve and advance FirstNet.
- Operational Needs: We are customizing the engagements to align with the interests and needs of the participating public safety representatives. The discussion topics will focus on the most important technical and operational needs they have identified for their broadband communications. We also plan to collect feedback from FirstNet subscribers on their user experiences. The goal is to gain further insight into public safety’s challenges and experiences with the network, so we can identify possible solutions and methods that best meet their operational needs.
- Outcomes and Solutions: The FirstNet Authority will use this feedback to identify areas for potential network development and improvement. This information will help inform updates to the Roadmap, provide suggestions for AT&T FirstNet products and services, and generate ideas for the FirstNet Authority’s programs and investment opportunities.
Our engagement program has always been vital to the success of FirstNet. The FirstNet Authority looks forward to continuing our dialogue with public safety to ensure their voices are heard in the continued evolution and improvement of the network. To engage with a FirstNet Authority public safety advisor in your area, please visit https://www.firstnet.gov/public-safety/your-advisor