Yesterday was a busy, informative, and productive day on the outreach front. In addition to hosting the quarterly state Single Point of Contact (SPOC) webinar, we met with staff from two dozen national associations that make up the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). Thanks to everyone who participated. FirstNet believes that each state, territory, and public safety stakeholder are critical to the success of our organization, as well as the planning and deployment of a nationwide public safety broadband network. We plan to host more webinars, briefings, conference calls, and other opportunities in the coming weeks and months – including our next SPOC webinar in July.
We were pleased with the turnout and feedback at both sessions yesterday, and hope that our stakeholders found them to be informative, too. We had at least 36 states on the SPOC webinar, and fielded more than 15 questions covering our national marketing and communications planning efforts, as well as key dates and next steps about the state consultation and planning process. We posted the presentation on the website for your review and further consideration.
The big news coming out of the SPOC webinar was that we will be sending the Initial Consultation Packages to the states and territories later this month and are targeting July of this year to begin the state consultation process. Between now and then, my colleague Dave Buchanan – who is director of state consultation – will be reaching out to the SPOCs from each state and territory to walk them through the initial consultation process in more detail and answer any questions or concerns they may have about it. Please see slides 13 and 14 in the presentation for more information about the timing of these events.
Our morning association briefing provided an opportunity for us to meet with staff representatives of the PSAC organizations to compliment the work of the PSAC members. It was great to have PSAC Chairman Harlin McEwen in attendance to speak to the role of the PSAC and the work they have done to date. Dave, Ed Parkinson (director of government affairs), and I provided an update on FirstNet’s progress on network planning, state consultation, and outreach. We were joined by Mike Dame, Federal Program Director of the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP), who provided an update on the grant program. Overall, we received positive feedback on the session and plan to hold another one later this year.
FirstNet General Manager Bill D’Agostino always says outreach is a two-way street: it’s critical that we provide regular communications to our stakeholders and that our stakeholders have opportunities to provide us with their feedback and recommendations. I believe we have established a strong foundation to do this through mechanisms like the SPOC webinars and monthly calls, the PSAC, and the workshops that we’ve held across the country. This will benefit FirstNet and the public safety community as we move into the consultation and planning process later this year.
If you have any questions about FirstNet’s outreach and consultation activities, please feel free to contact me, at Amanda.Hilliard@firstnet.gov or my colleague Dave Buchanan, David.Buchanan@firstnet.gov. Thank you!