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Early Builders Blog: New Mexico Looks to Partner with Federal Agencies, Provide Broadband Service at Border

December 19, 2014

Members of the FirstNet management team recently paid a visit to Las Cruces, New Mexico to meet with state officials about their planning for the state’s BTOP-funded public safety broadband network. While the network is not expected to be operational until mid-2015, the state of New Mexico already is providing FirstNet with a number of unique lessons learned and best practices to leverage for the planning and deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network.

NIST Robotics Test Facility: Putting Mechanical First Responders to the Test

On the Road: Meeting with Dallas Public Safety Officials

December 16, 2014

By TJ Kennedy, FirstNet Acting General Manager
Last month while in Dallas for the LTE North America Conference, I had the opportunity to take advantage of one of the most rewarding parts of my job as Acting General Manager of the First Responder Network Authority – meeting with local public safety personnel.

On the Road: Canada’s “CITIG 8” Workshop

December 15, 2014

By Chris Algiere, FirstNet Federal Outreach Lead
Last month in Ottawa, Canada, the Eighth Canadian Public Safety Interoperability Workshop brought together more than 300 public safety communications leaders and practitioners from around the world to focus on improving interoperable emergency communications both within Canada and internationally.

Meet the FirstNet Team: Technical Headquarters in Boulder

December 11, 2014

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is pleased to announce that two top wireless network planning and development experts have joined its Federal technical team in Boulder, Colorado. The two new members of the team are Brian Kassa, who is Director of Technology Planning and Development, and Pat Schwinghammer, who is Director of Radio Access Networks (“RAN”). They will report to Jeff Bratcher, who was named Acting Chief Technical Officer (“CTO”) after former CTO Ali Afrashteh stepped down for personal reasons.

Message from the FirstNet Chair

December 9, 2014

By Sue Swenson, FirstNet Chair
Today, we received the Department of Commerce Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) audit report on the Department’s administration of FirstNet’s ethics program and procurement of contractor support in the early days of our operations. The report makes a number of recommendations regarding improving guidance and processes around the Department’s ethics program and contracting on behalf of FirstNet. We concur with these recommendations, many of which have already been implemented.

Early Builders Blog: New Jersey’s Deployable Public Safety Broadband Network

December 8, 2014

This is the first in a series of blog reports on FirstNet’s role in and observations from the five “Early Builder” (EB) public safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) network projects. The EBs include four NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grantees in New Jersey, Adams County (Colo.), the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System Authority (LA-RICS), and New Mexico, as well as Harris County (Texas), which is being funded through other grants and local contributions.

FirstNet Schedules Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement Scoping Meetings

December 5, 2014

By Genevieve Walker, FirstNet Director of Environmental Compliance
In order to comply with our obligations under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), FirstNet will develop five regional Programmatic Environmental Impact Statements (PEISs) to analyze the expected impacts of the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) on the nation’s natural, social, and cultural resources. NEPA requires the Federal government to examine the impacts of its proposed actions early in the planning process so potential impacts can be identified, and ideally addressed, as the project details are finalized.

FirstNet, Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) Prepare for Busy 2015

December 4, 2014

By Amanda Hilliard, Director of Outreach
Earlier this week, the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) held its second in-person meeting of 2014. Thirty-one PSAC members attended the meeting, along with members of the FirstNet Board and its senior management team and staff. We were pleased to have representatives from the Public Safety Communications Research Program (PSCR) and the Department of Homeland Security in attendance, too.

NFPA Journal Looks at Big Data's Potential to Transform the Fire Service

December 3, 2014

Cross-posted from the National Fire Protection Associations' (NFPA) "Today's Responder" Website
We are surrounded today by data-gathering devices, which can do everything from track how well you sleep to the energy consumption of your house. Increasingly, the fire service is beginning to harness the vast amount of data and gadgets now available to help it save lives, protect firefighters, and reduce property loss.

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