This year, the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) debuted new methods of working with the FirstNet Authority and its partner, AT&T, on advising their work towards the FirstNet mission. With the FirstNet network realized in 2018, this is bringing a new focus and flurry of work and activity to the PSAC in their advisory role.
Last month, the PSAC gathered for its final monthly webinar of the year, both to look back at their work over 2018 and to plan for 2019. As a new approach to gathering the PSAC members together more frequently, these monthly webinars enabled the group to address a wide variety of timely topics, including location based services (LBS), the FirstNet App Catalog, the Internet of Life Saving Things (IoLST), and an overview of Priority Assignment.
At these webinars, FirstNet Authority Senior Director of Products Jennifer Harder led discussions with the PSAC to learn about the needs of public safety, incorporating their feedback and pledging to continue the open dialogue with them and their associations. The series proved to be a productive venue for the PSAC to provide feedback to the FirstNet Authority and AT&T during product planning and development.
The final webinar of the year also provided an opportunity for AT&T’s Senior Vice President, Chris Sambar, to highlight FirstNet network adoption numbers for the PSAC and share that AT&T is on track to meet build commitments for 2019. Chris reviewed FirstNet’s support of Hurricane Michael and Florence relief efforts and the use of 10 dedicated deployables and the AT&T Network Disaster Recovery fleet. He also thanked those on the call who participated in the response and recovery efforts.
Dave Buchanan, who is the FirstNet Authority Public Safety Advocacy Executive Director, recapped the robust engagement and advocacy program in 2018, again thanking all those PSAC members actively involved in conferences, shows, podcasts, and engagements across the country. Dave expressed his optimism and eagerness for additional opportunities to meet directly with first responders at conferences and tradeshows to learn all the ways in which they are using the FirstNet network in action.
To close, the PSAC Executive Committee reviewed some PSAC business, including changes in the leadership of its Tribal Working Group, the upcoming launch of PSAC Strike Teams in 2019, and operational considerations for agencies subscribing to FirstNet service. They expressed interest in finalizing plans for the in-person PSAC meeting on December 11 in the Washington, DC area, and thanked the FirstNet Authority, AT&T, and, of course, the PSAC membership, for a successful year.