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Reflecting on One Year of Initial Consultation Meetings and Planning for the Next

July 29, 2015

By Dave Buchanan, FirstNet Director of State Consultation
One year ago today, FirstNet held the first initial state consultation meeting in Maryland. While the meeting in Annapolis was not the beginning of FirstNet’s consultation process, it did mark a significant milestone along our Strategic Program Roadmap: to formally launch initial consultation meetings in all states and territories for the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN).

Vermont Initial Consultation Highlights Public Safety’s Use of Data and Need for Improved Coverage

July 24, 2015

By Amanda Hilliard, FirstNet Director of Outreach
The Vermont Initial State Consultation was held June 16 in South Burlington, where more than 60 stakeholders representing the major public safety disciplines in the state and several FirstNet representatives were in attendance, including FirstNet Board member and former Governor Jim Douglas and Vermont Single Point of Contact (SPOC) Paco Aumand. Governor Douglas spoke about some of the communications challenges he saw in disaster response while in office and how they were a big part of why he got involved in FirstNet as a Board member. Governor Douglas also addressed the value that a nationwide public safety broadband network could bring to public safety stakeholders in the state.

July 2015 SPOC Quarterly Webinar Looks at What’s Next After Initial State Consultation

July 22, 2015

By Kristi Wilde, FirstNet Outreach Coordinator
The FirstNet User Advocacy Team recently held the third quarterly webinar of 2015 for the FirstNet state and territory Single Points of Contact (SPOCs). The session was well-attended with more than 80 individuals representing 41 states and territories dialing in.

SPOC Spotlight: Q&A with Maine’s Lisa Leahy

July 21, 2015

Lisa Leahy is the Maine single point of contact (SPOC) for FirstNet. She brings several years of experience working on the NTIA State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program and working directly for Maine’s Chief Information Officer as a project manager, eGov services specialist, and manager of policy and legislative affairs and principal consultant. Lisa talks about her approach to conducting statewide outreach and education regarding FirstNet in the state of Maine.

New Mexico Initial Consultation Highlights Diverse Needs for NPSBN

July 17, 2015

By Amanda Hilliard, FirstNet Director of Outreach
Nearly 100 representatives from the various public safety disciplines and local, state, tribal, and federal government gathered in Santa Fe on June 10 for New Mexico’s Initial Consultation Meeting. In a state with such a large amount of tribal land, it was great to see nearly 10 tribal representatives among the attendees. We learned that many in the state currently leverage commercial wireless service during day to day operations – with attendees acknowledging there is a great need for increased coverage in the state, including an imperative need for coverage in rural areas. This led to great dialogue on data collection and coverage objectives.

FirstNet Video Blog: Data Collection

July 16, 2015

By David Buchanan, FirstNet Director of State Consultation
FirstNet is pleased to present the following video on the data collection effort that is to be completed by September 30, 2015. We developed this video to review the key elements of data collection and explain its importance to FirstNet and public safety agencies at all levels of government.

South Carolina Initial State Consultation

July 15, 2015

By Dave Buchanan, Director of State Consultation
George Crouch, Bob Steadman and their team were well prepared for the South Carolina initial consultation meeting with FirstNet earlier this year in Columbia. The team provided a detailed overview of the State’s current and planned communications and technology initiatives for public safety, including how its local jurisdictions are planning and preparing for the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN).

CTO Blog: Mobile Communications Unit (MCU)

July 13, 2015

The FirstNet Office of the Chief Technology Officer developed the following blog on the Mobile Communications Unit (MCU) and its role in incident deployment and coverage extension options. FirstNet anticipates that the MCU and other alternatives will play a role as coverage extension tools within the deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network.
Since FirstNet was created under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (the Act), it has recognized that providing more network coverage for states and territories than commercial operators currently provide presents unique problems. While there are many deployable alternatives or solutions, such as High Power User Equipment (HP-UE), they have shortcomings.

Nearly Halfway to Meeting Spectrum Target

July 10, 2015

This blog is a repost from the National Telecommunications Information Administration titled, "Nearly Halfway to Meeting Spectrum Target" by Paige R. Atkins, Associate Administrator of the Office of Spectrum Management, posted July 08, 2015.
Recognizing the growing importance of wireless broadband to the U.S. economy, President Obama five years ago last week set a bold new goal aimed at ensuring that enough spectrum is available to meet the surging demand for wireless connectivity. As the President noted in a June 28, 2010 memorandum, “The world is going wireless, and we must not fall behind.”

New York Initial Consultation Meeting

July 8, 2015

By Dave Buchanan, Director of State Consultation
FirstNet’s Initial Consultation Meeting in New York was an opportunity for FirstNet to hear from dozens of state and local public safety personnel about key issues related to the build-out of the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN) in their communities. With dense urban areas in the east and south, to suburbs moving west, to rural conditions in central and upstate, the State of New York represents a full range of coverage needs and conditions. All of these are key considerations as we move toward developing a plan for deploying the network in the State.

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