The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board of Directors held its first meeting today, marking a significant milestone towards deployment of a nationwide wireless broadband network that will enable first responders to better communicate with each other during emergencies, improve response time and save lives.
“Thanks to the public safety community and other stakeholders laying the foundation for our work, FirstNet does not face a blank page in its efforts to get this network created,” said Samuel “Sam” Ginn, Chairman of the FirstNet Board. “The new network will enable instant communication and collaboration among multiple public safety agencies, dramatically transforming first responder communications.”
The Board meeting kicked off the implementation phase of these efforts by adopting a number of organizational and administrative items. Two board members also shared conceptual presentations for a network design and also for developing applications for public safety use. These presentations mark a starting point for further discussions, and the Board requested that NTIA quickly issue a Notice of Inquiry to solicit comment and input from all interested parties.
The Board expressed its gratitude for the extensive preparatory work done by the public safety community over the past decade in advocating and planning for a nationwide public safety wireless broadband network. Their efforts lay a foundation for FirstNet, giving it considerable momentum in consultations with state, local, territorial and tribal jurisdictions and first responders in getting the network up and running as expeditiously as possible.
“The confluence today of three critical factors marks a real difference in our ability to execute against FirstNet goals,” said Ginn. “The contribution of extremely useful nationwide spectrum; the allocation of funding by the Congress; and the rapid development and deployment of LTE wireless technology will all serve FirstNet well as we collaborate with interested parties to chart the best path forward.”