WASHINGTON – Marking its first anniversary, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board today adopted its business plan for FY ’14, signaling the most important progress in FirstNet’s short history.
The Board adopted a $194 million budget in support of management’s plans and priorities to continue developing the nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety.
“A goal without a plan is a dream, and today the Board adopted a 2014 business plan,” said FirstNet General Manager Bill D’Agostino. “The 2014 business plan sets the course for us to continue building the foundational elements of the organization and network infrastructure. We will also identify the ultimate structure for public/private partnerships that are essential for FirstNet to achieve and sustain our mission.”
The Board also took action today on key organizational and personnel matters. As FirstNet begins hiring its senior management team and wraps up negotiations on the public safety Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) projects, it’s transitioning to a new phase. The FirstNet Board today approved a resolution to transfer Board members’ operational responsibilities over to the management team. Separately, Board Chairman Sam Ginn announced the creation of four separate Board committees, organizing it to operate more like a traditional corporate board in its oversight role.
“The Board members jumpstarted our efforts, and now it’s time for management to take the reins and continue the momentum,” said Ginn. “It’s time for Board members to return to their rightful roles.”
Board member Jeffrey Johnson, who lead FirstNet’s outreach efforts as the Acting Customer Advocacy Officer, will immediately hand over his duties to FirstNet Deputy General Manager TJ Kennedy who joined FirstNet on July 29, 2013. Kennedy will also assume the responsibilities of Sue Swenson, who lead FirstNet’s efforts to negotiate spectrum lease agreements for the public safety pilot projects. Acting Chief Technology Officer Craig Farrill intends to return to his traditional Board member role as soon as FirstNet hires a Chief Technical Officer.
“I greatly appreciate the hard work that Jeff, Sue and Craig have done in the early stages of FirstNet to get us off the ground, but I know FirstNet is in good hands under the leadership of Bill D’Agostino and TJ Kennedy,” said Ginn.
The four separate Board committees established by Ginn are: Governance and Personnel chaired by Ginn; Audit and Budget chaired by Tim Bryan; Planning and Technology chaired by Craig Farrill; and User Outreach chaired by Jeffrey Johnson.
Separately, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced today the reappointment of Teri Takai, Jeffrey Johnson and Sue Swenson to the FirstNet Board, commending them for their hard work and dedication to building this nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety. The Board also thanked Bill Keever for his service on the Board this past year. Mr. Keever is stepping down to focus on running his family-owned winery in Napa, California.
One Board seat remains vacant. In May, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on behalf of FirstNet posted a federal register notice soliciting expressions of interest to serve on the FirstNet Board. NTIA helped screen the candidates before forwarding the most qualified group to the FirstNet Board for consideration. Chairman Ginn will ultimately make a recommendation to Secretary Pritzker on who to appoint to the slot, and she will make the final decision.
Additional details about the FY ’14 business plan can be found here: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/firstnet_fy14_budget_summary_08132013.pdf
FirstNet will provide emergency responders with the first high-speed, nationwide network dedicated to public safety. FirstNet is designed to improve communication among local, state, regional, tribal and national emergency services personnel. The broadband data network will help save lives and protect the health and safety of all Americans. It will be built using LTE, the most advanced wireless technology available today. FirstNet fulfills a fundamental need of the public safety community for a single, mission-critical communications system enabling force multiplier effectiveness. Overseen by representatives of public safety, government and the wireless industry, FirstNet is an independent entity within the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (www.firstnet.gov).