August 26, 2016 (RESTON) – The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) today commended the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for moving forward on two items related to the planning of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (Network). The FCC unanimously voted to release a Notice of Proposed Ruling Making (NPRM) seeking comment on the process it will use for any state that chooses to deploy its own Radio Access Network, as well as an Order on the relocation of Band 14 public safety incumbents.
FirstNet Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth said: “We’re pleased that the FCC has moved forward in unanimously voting out the NPRM on the FCC processes for a state that chooses to conduct its own Radio Access Network deployment. We appreciate the FCC’s diligent work on this issue and look forward to getting this important network deployed.
“The FCC also took a critical step in planning for the deployment of the Network by approving the Order to relocate public safety incumbents from Band 14 spectrum. Together with our Band 14 Incumbent Spectrum Relocation Grant Program, we can ensure a smooth transition for our public safety stakeholders. We appreciate the FCC’s collaboration on this issue to ensure the spectrum is clear in advance of the deployment of the network.”
FirstNet recently announced the funding of eight awards for its Band 14 Incumbent Spectrum Relocation Grant Program. This program provides financial assistance to eligible public safety entities for relocating their existing radios and systems from Band 14 in advance of the deployment and operation of the Network.
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)