Throughout March and April, Massachusetts held a series of FirstNet information and outreach sessions in five locations statewide. The sessions were facilitated by the Massachusetts Public Safety Broadband Office (PSBO), a new office that was established to collaborate with first responders, public safety entities, and other stakeholders about FirstNet.
Led by the state Single Point of Contact (SPOC) Curtis Wood, the Massachusetts Public Safety Undersecretary for Forensic Science and Technology, the sessions covered a variety of topics including the origins of FirstNet, the role of the Massachusetts PSBO, Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, and implementation considerations. William Casey, the FirstNet regional liaison in the New England area, also participated in the sessions. He shared valuable information about FirstNet progress to date and the state consultation process.
The outreach sessions were well attended by over 220 leaders from emergency management and public safety throughout Massachusetts. Participants represented a wide variety of disciplines and roles, including police chiefs, fire chiefs, sheriffs, emergency management directors, town administrators, budget directors, IT specialists, dispatch supervisors, communication specialists, homeland security program managers, and more. Though some had detailed knowledge of FirstNet, many were learning about FirstNet for the first time. The groups asked thoughtful questions, ranging from detailed technical questions about site hardening to broader legal, schedule, and financial implementation considerations. They also provided feedback on real life challenges.
Massachusetts plans to continue its education and outreach efforts on FirstNet, including conducting more targeted meetings and establishing a working group to support the consultation process. For additional information about FirstNet in Massachusetts, please visit www.mass.gov/psbo.