New York State Wireless Association 2015 Wireless Forum

July 6, 2015
NYSWA was formed for the exchange of ideas between wireless telecommunications professionals, government officials, and the public, and to create a platform for a unified voice among the wireless industry.
NYSWA was formed for the exchange of ideas between wireless telecommunications professionals, government officials, and the public, and to create a platform for a unified voice among the wireless industry.

By Jessica Zufolo, FirstNet Director of Federal Grants Strategy and Coordination

On Wednesday, June 17th I had the honor of presenting an update on the FirstNet program roadmap to the members and attendees of the New York State Wireless Association (NYSWA) meeting in New York City. NYSWA was formed for the exchange of ideas between wireless telecommunications professionals, government officials, and the public, and to create a platform for a unified voice among the wireless industry.

The forum was held at the Chelsea Piers, merely 25 blocks from lower Manhattan, where the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center occurred. Attending this event on behalf of FirstNet was particularly valuable to me as a native New Yorker who has experienced first-hand numerous natural disasters and power outages that have impacted the safety and security of residents in all five boroughs and throughout the state. New Yorkers are known for withstanding some of the worst catastrophes with grace and patience, as we have, in recent memory, learned from witnessing the recovery efforts following Superstorm Sandy and the recent wave of floods and severe snow and ice storms.

The conference panels covered several relevant topics including the investment community’s perspective on the tower and infrastructure equipment sector as well as the future of next generation wireless platforms. Over 100 people were in attendance for my update, the afternoon keynote, even though it was scheduled at the end of the day. When asked for a show of hands of those familiar with FirstNet, a small number of hands were raised – re-emphasizing that we have plenty of work to do – but the interest in what the vision for a nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) is and what it will accomplish appeared strong among the audience.

I was fortunate to be accompanied by David Cook, the FirstNet Regional Coordinator for Region 2, who is very well known in public safety and emergency communications circles throughout New York State. As FirstNet continues to focus on maintaining the highest level of transparency in communicating in-person to all stakeholders, this event provided my colleague and me with another opportunity to help share FirstNet’s activities and accomplishments to date, and receive valuable input for the network from an important group of stakeholders.

After delivering the FirstNet program roadmap update, several attendees thanked me for making the trip to New York and for providing such detailed information about the purpose and promise of the NPSBN. I look forward to attending this event next year with more important news to share as we move along our program roadmap and toward the delivery of a network that provides first responders with the communications capabilities that they need.

Thanks,
Jessica

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