FirstNet Board Approves Release of Second Public Notice and Seeks Comments

For Immediate Release: March 9, 2015
Media Contact: Ryan Oremland (703) 648-4114 or (202) 770-5761

RESTON, VA – As part of its ongoing efforts to consult with stakeholders, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board today approved for release a second Public Notice (Second Notice) seeking comment on important interpretations of FirstNet’s enabling legislation, including public safety customer, operational, and funding considerations related to states or territories assuming responsibility for radio access network (RAN) deployment.

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Act) requires FirstNet to ensure the establishment of a nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) based on a single national network architecture that evolves with technological advances over time. The FirstNet Board approved management’s release of the Second Notice as part of a special Board meeting held today via teleconference.

"We have been laser-focused on finalizing our approach to the request for proposals process that will form the basis of our nationwide network deployment,” FirstNet Chair Sue Swenson said. “Consultation on the complex issues in this Second Notice, combined with upcoming opportunities to receive feedback on the request for proposals itself and our ongoing state and local consultations nationwide, create fundamental building blocks for our approach.”

The Second Notice seeks feedback from all interested stakeholders, including public safety professionals from local, regional, tribal, and state jurisdictions, and vendors on a number of preliminary interpretations regarding key provisions of the Act, including:

  • Technical requirements for equipment to be used on the network, including open standards for connectivity and device competition;
  • The nature and application of FirstNet network policies, including those that aim to preserve interoperability in states and territories that assume responsibility for building and operating a RAN;
  • The Governor’s decision to assume RAN responsibility, and the roles and responsibilities of states and FirstNet throughout the process; and
  • Customer, operational, and critical funding considerations regarding state or territory assumption of RAN responsibility.

The Second Notice is focused on how FirstNet and the states and territories can work together to balance the opportunity states and territories have to deploy the RAN with the preservation of a sustainable operational and economic model that is consistent with the nationwide network contemplated under the Act. The critical feedback received by the Board will inform FirstNet’s implementation of the network in all states and territories, including those with substantial rural areas. This notice addresses new issues not previously raised in a public notice. FirstNet plans to address the conclusions resulting from the First Notice in upcoming releases.

The public is invited to submit written comments to the notice either electronically through or by mail to the address listed in the notice. The comment period for this notice will be 30 days and will begin after publication of this notice in the Federal Register.

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