For Immediate Release
Media Contact: April Ward (571) 665-6187 or (202) 853-5219
June 30, 2016 – (CHICAGO) The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is moving forward to prepare for a successful public-private partnership to deploy and operate the nationwide public safety broadband network (Network). Meeting this week in Chicago, the FirstNet Board provided strategic guidance to position the organization for a future public-private partnership and to facilitate Network deployment and adoption following award of the contract, which remains on track for November 2016.
“We have a clear focus to ensure the partnership is successful starting day one,” said FirstNet Board Chair Sue Swenson. “Our goal is to hit the ground running with our partner to deliver the best solution to public safety and the States.”
During the Board and Committee meetings, FirstNet officials outlined a number of steps to evolve from a start-up and planning organization into a more operationally-oriented entity. This includes establishing a Chief Customer Office (CCO) to coordinate consultation and State Plans, product management, and marketing for the future users of the network – public safety – and the creation of the Network Program Office (NPO) to work with FirstNet’s industry partner on Radio Access Network (RAN) deployment activities in the states and territories.
“Establishing the CCO and NPO offices now will enable FirstNet to be the best business partner and public safety advocate, both now and post-award,” said President TJ Kennedy. “The evolution of our advocacy program will help us serve public safety and drive adoption of the Network.”
FirstNet leadership addressed progress on key initiatives for Network development, including the State Plans process; network policies around operability, security, interoperability, etc.; and the Spectrum Relocation Grant program, which is designed to ensure the Network is free and clear for rapid deployment.
The FirstNet Board also voted on two items:(1) renewing the lease for FirstNet’s technical headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, and (2) an update to the FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee’s charter.
Additional information from the FirstNet Board and Committees meetings, held June 29-30 in Chicago, Ill., is available at www.firstnet.gov.
FirstNet has been obligated by Congress 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 established by Congress in 2012 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)