August 26, 2016 (RESTON) – The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board today approved a budget package to support landmark developments slated for Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17), including the evolution of FirstNet’s public-private partnership and the implementation of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (“Network”).
During a special meeting held today via teleconference, the FirstNet Board took a key step toward delivering the Network to public safety by approving a $6.585 billion budget that will support the award of a Network contract in FY17 and includes $85 million for FirstNet operations.
“This mission-driven budget reflects our goals for the organization, for the Network, and for public safety,” said FirstNet Chair Sue Swenson. “It will drive the achievement of major milestones along our Strategic Roadmap in what will be a pivotal year for FirstNet, including critical post-award priorities such as State plans and continued outreach to public safety.”
As part of its Network contract, FirstNet will contribute 20 Megahertz of low-band spectrum and up to $6.5 billion to enable a partnership to ensure the building and operation of the Network during a 25-year term. FirstNet is in the evaluation phase of the procurement and remains on track for awarding the contract in November.
In approving the budget package today, the Board is ensuring that up to $6.5 billion will be obligated towards the contract and associated task orders, once awarded. FirstNet intends to pay that amount over the course of the contract as the partner achieves committed Network deployment and operational milestones.
“The Board’s actions today ensure we are prepared to support our partner(s) on day one and deliver for public safety,” said FirstNet Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth. “This budget also provides us with the flexibility we will need to operationalize, deliver 56 individual State plans, and enable public safety adoption of the Network. We look forward to having a contract in place and working with our partner to firm up the targeted milestones we outlined today, including the delivery of draft and final State plans.”
Congress allocated $7 billion from spectrum auction proceeds to establish FirstNet and directed FirstNet to take all actions necessary to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide public safety broadband network for local, state, regional, tribal, and federal first responders and other public safety personnel. FirstNet is an independent authority that is governed by a 15-member Board that consists of the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General of the United States, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and 12 members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce composed of representatives from public safety, government, and the wireless industry. (www.firstnet.gov)