New Initiatives will Drive Network Evolution, Innovation with Public Safety
March 20, 2019 (JACKSON, MS) – The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) today unveiled new initiatives to shape the future of public safety’s network and advance a dedicated FirstNet experience that will transform public safety operations to help save lives and protect communities.
Meeting today in Jackson, Mississippi, the FirstNet Authority Board and executive team announced plans to develop a Roadmap to enhance the FirstNet network, which will be driven by the needs of the public safety community and reflect industry trends. The Board also endorsed a set of principles to guide the FirstNet Authority’s investments in the network — investments that will reflect public safety feedback and priorities for their critical communications needs.
“This is the only nationwide broadband network that public safety has a voice in. From the earliest consultation days through the launch of the network, public safety has been and will continue to be at the center of everything we do,” said FirstNet Board Chair Edward Horowitz. “As we strive to fully realize the promise of FirstNet, we are engaging with public safety to chart a path forward for the network. Using their feedback, our Roadmap will advance the network and guide our investments over the next several years and beyond.”
To develop the Roadmap, the FirstNet Authority is engaging with the public safety community in various forums to capture their feedback on how broadband technology can serve their operational needs. The Roadmap will incorporate industry trends through market research and outreach to the private sector, academia, and industry associations. This work will also enhance industry’s understanding of public safety’s communications needs. The FirstNet Authority will refresh the Roadmap to ensure it continuously accounts for public safety’s operational needs and industry trends.
To guide the FirstNet Authority’s investments based on the Roadmap, the Board today adopted Resolution 98, “The FirstNet Authority’s Investments Principles,” which states that investments must:
- Be derived from and benefit public safety
- Maintain and advance the foundation of the network
- Consider a balanced approach and provide value to public safety
- Be fiscally responsible and reflect strong financial management
“For years we worked hand-in-hand with public safety to plan for FirstNet and make their network a reality,” said FirstNet Authority Acting CEO Ed Parkinson. “We will continue to engage with public safety to learn and understand their needs, and collaborate with them so they can maximize the benefits of FirstNet for their lifesaving mission.”
To enhance its public safety engagement efforts, the FirstNet Authority is developing an experience program in conjunction with the FirstNet Innovation and Test Lab in Boulder, Colorado to introduce first responders to current and future technologies through hands-on educational experiences. To help develop the experience program, and coinciding with today’s Board meeting, the FirstNet Authority announced a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Mississippi Medical Center to drive innovation for rural emergency medical care and response.
For more information on the Board meeting, visit FirstNet.gov.
About the First Responder Network Authority
The First Responder Network Authority is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Created in 2012, its mission is to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. Learn more at FirstNet.gov/mediakit and follow the FirstNet Authority (@FirstNetGov) on Facebook and Twitter for updates.