Statement of FirstNet General Manager Bill D’Agostino, Jr.
“Thank you for that kind introduction. I am excited to be part of this mission, and honored to work with the FirstNet Board to deliver first responders a nationwide, dedicated public safety network.
Today is my second day on the job, and I have an enormous amount of work to do to catch up. I’ve already met with the Board and the technical team, and I am impressed by the great work and progress that’s been made in such a short period of time.
I’m coming in to FirstNet at a time when several important activities are already underway. I’m pleased to see that FirstNet is already gathering critical input from the public safety community as well as state, local, and tribal groups on what this network should look like and how we can meet their needs. But we’re just getting started. The law establishing FirstNet calls for a formal state consultancy process, and we’ll formally kick off that outreach in May. Working in partnership with The National Governors Association, we will host regional meetings where we bring together policymakers representing a cross-section of state, local and tribal governments. Those meetings will run through June.
Under the State and Local Implementation Grant Program, states will gather information that will help FirstNet understand the unique needs of each state and territory. NTIA anticipates awarding the grants by mid-July.
We will also benefit from vendor forums that the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Program plans to host. These are currently in the planning stages, and will be open meetings.
All of the listening we are doing in the months ahead will greatly assist us as we develop plans for this public safety network.
In summary, deploying this nationwide network will require an unprecedented level of public-private partnership, collaboration and shared commitment that leverages existing infrastructure for the well-being of all Americans. I look forward to working with you all, and taking on this historical task.”