First Responder Network Authority Weekly Update to Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) – March 28, 2016

FirstNet News

User Advocacy continues its preparations for the Spring 2016 single point of contact (SPOC) Meeting on April 12-13 in McLean, Virginia.  Nearly 225 people have registered to attend, including representatives from 54 states and territories, the PSAC Executive Committee, the Tribal Working Group (TWG), federal partners, Canada public safety authorities, and FirstNet Board members and staff.  An email with the final agenda and logistical information will be sent to registered attendees next week.

FirstNet will be holding a Federal Open House on April 14, 2016 in Washington, D.C. at the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Federal stakeholders will have the opportunity to receive updates on FirstNet’s consultation and technology efforts in 2016 and beyond.  The event will be open to all federal ID card holders and other interested parties in the National Capitol Region.  Invitations and information will be distributed through the Agency Points-of-Contact (APOC).

The International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) 2016 was held last week in Las Vegas, Nevada.  FirstNet Board members, User Advocacy senior management and staff, the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), and the Program Management Office (PMO) engaged public safety and industry attendees in 12 sessions, including many stakeholder led discussions on FirstNet.  CEO Mike Poth provided a keynote address to a packed room highlighting the need for a “true partnership for public safety.”  Throughout the week, the FirstNet team discussed state plan delivery, risks and challenges associated with state opt-out, “true priority”, and timelines for key activities, including the Request for Proposal (RFP).   The team looks forward to continuing these discussions at the upcoming SPOC meeting.

SPOC 2016 Engagement Kick-Off Meetings continued last week in Indiana and Nebraska.  FirstNet has now completed meetings in 50 out of 56 states and territories.  Moving ahead, FirstNet will advance its 2016 Consultation baseline activities by participating in state governance body meetings and coordinating metropolitan area engagements to better prepare for executive consultation.

Recently, FirstNet launched a new FirstNet Tumblr blog series titled, “A Day in the Life: Stories of Broadband Saving Lives and Protecting Communities”.  In the new blog, FirstNet will be telling the stories of first responders from all parts of the country.  FirstNet has learned through its consultation and outreach efforts that many law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical service personnel are currently using broadband in some capacity to do their jobs.  Do you have a story of broadband use at your public safety agency?  Please share with FirstNet.  More information can be found here:

Last week, FirstNet published two new entries on its blog: Deploying a Public Safety Broadband Network – The U.S. Experience and FirstNet Works with PSAC, PSCR on Quality of Service, Priority and Preemption Framework.  All blog posts can also be accessed through the FirstNet blog landing page at:

This week, FirstNet is speaking at the New York State Interoperable Communications Consortium in Oriskany, New York; the Sioux Tribal Utility Commission in Mission, South Dakota; the Montana Indian Nations Working Group in Polson, Montana; the Tennessee Consolidated Network for Emergency Communications and Technology (TN-CNECT) 2016 Regional Public Safety Broadband Conference (Middle) in Burns, Tennessee; and the IACP Homeland Security Committee Meeting and State Associations of Chiefs of Police (SACOP) MidYear Business Meeting in Washington, DC.

 News from the PSAC, States and Territories

Two new delegates have been appointed to the PSAC Tribal Working Group (TWG):  Dennis Dyer and Raymond Kennedy.  Dennis, a member of the Delaware Nation, is the chief information officer (CIO) for the Citizen Potawatomi Tribe in Oklahoma.  He was nominated by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) to join the PSAC.  Raymond, who is the emergency management coordinator for his tribe’s Health Service Authority, the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma, was nominated by the Tribal Affairs Caucus of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM).

The PSAC Identity, Credential and Access Management (ICAM) and Local Control task teams resume meetings this week, with a combined meeting on March 31.

The PSAC Fire Service Focus Group held its kickoff meeting on March 22 via conference call to coordinate outreach efforts to fire service stakeholders.  Representatives from both the career and volunteer fire service provided key publications and social media strategies for FirstNet to leverage.  They also provided access to additional groups in the fire service community.

 Media Watch

*The information provided is copied as-is from the media outlet source and is not edited by FirstNet.  Links to non-Federal Government websites do not constitute endorsement of any product, service, organization, company, information provider, or content.  Clicking on non-Department of Commerce hyperlinks will direct you to websites that are not under the Government’s control.

 RCR Wireless News 3/23: FirstNet RFP opportunity assessed at IWCE 2016

LAS VEGAS – With approximately $6.5 billion on the table for the design and construction of a nationwide public safety LTE network, vendors are scrambling to compile their responses for the First Responders Network Authority’s request for proposal. The FirstNet RFP is a main focus at this week’s International Wireless Communications Expo, as vendors across the ecosystem assess the opportunity and their response – if not to the full RFP, then as it is parceled out to smaller vendors once a prime awardee is announced later this year.

TR Daily 3/23: FirstNet Early Builders Cite Successes, Challenges

Representatives of the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet) five early builder projects provided updates today on their initiatives at the IWCE show here today and said they are pleased that the programs are providing lessons that can help FirstNet and states. Pat Mallon, executive director of the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS), said that his system met a Sept. 30 deadline for deploying 77 sites – down from the original planned 230 sites after it ran into fire union, politician, and community opposition to the siting of cell sites over health and aesthetic concerns. Mr. Mallon noted that Congress passed legislation last year that gives Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) projects until fiscal year 2020 to complete spending on their projects, an extension from Sept. 30, 2015. He also noted that LA-RICS is doing RF testing in response to firefighter health concerns, saying that the readings from sites show “extremely low” levels. Enhanced readings are being done at 12 sites where towers were installed at fire stations, he said.

RCR Wireless 3/23: Spectrum Sharing gets boost from FirstNet, others

The First Responders Network Authority is pinning much of its economic viability on the ability to share its dedicated 700 MHz spectrum with a network partner who could use excess spectrum capacity, so long as first responder use will still be prioritized and other users preempted if necessary. But FirstNet isn’t the only entity looking to share spectrum, and the scarcity of that resource may mean spectrum sharing becomes a more viable option. Google has been working on a spectrum access system for sharing in the 3.5 GHz band, and the company’s principal wireless architect for the project, Preston Marshall, told an audience at this week’s International Wireless Communications Expo that after major initial opposition from players in the telecom industry, most have come together with Google in the WinnForum – including all four national carriers and major infrastructure vendors.

Web and Social Media

FirstNet social media enjoyed steady traffic and new users/followers.  Twitter gained 36 followers and is now at 3,381 followers, while LinkedIn has 1,415 followers.  YouTube now has 238 subscribers.

Do you have something you want to feature in the weekly update, such as a conference date, personnel announcement, or news article showcasing the work of your organization?  Please send it to Yancy Edwards at for possible inclusion in an upcoming update