Consultants Consider Process Ahead for State FirstNet Decision

LAS VEGAS – March 25, 2016. Public safety consultants late yesterday mulled what states should do to be ready to review plans that the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) expects to deliver to them early next year. During a session at the IWCE show here, Dominick Arcuri of DVA expressed concern that states won’t have sufficient input on development of the state plans due to the short time period. He also urged states to develop evaluation criteria on what they want to see in a state plan.

Emil Olbrich of Primeline Consulting said 40% of governors were elected in the last election cycle, which means that many FirstNet single points of contact (SPOCs) are new. “There’s a lot of education that FirstNet has to do,” he said. He expressed concern that governors will not have the necessary information to make a decision on opting out of having the FirstNet partner build the radio access network (RAN) in their state.

Michael Britt of Copper Dome Consulting LLC suggested that only about 20% of states have the governance structures in place to be able to make an opt-out decision in the 90-day period, but he said the other states have time to prepare.

Dick Mirgon of Richard Mirgon Consulting and Presidential Partners Consulting LLC, said he believes the decision “for any reasonable governor” will be easy as to whether to opt out. “If you opt out, you’re on your own,” he said. Mr. Mirgon also said many states had been critical of how FirstNet was doing but now they are more positive. “That’s a pretty big shift,” he said. “I think people are seeing the sun come up over the horizon.”

Robert LeGrande II of the Digital Decision LLC, said it doesn’t make sense to spend time now talking about which states might opt out, noting that they don’t have the data necessary yet to make such a decision.

Mr. Arcuri said he hopes FirstNet allows states to submit updated data in the November timeframe. – Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily