FirstNet Weekly Update to the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), April 25, 2016

FirstNet News

Three new staff joined the FirstNet team as Regional Leads.  Lesia Dickson ( is the Acting Region 9 Continental US Lead for FirstNet Consultation.  Prior to assuming this role, Lesia served as Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Texas Public Safety Broadband Program during its first three years.   In Region 4, we have two new leads – Ehrin Ehlert (, who was formerly with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and was also the state’s single point of contact (SPOC), and Chuck Murph (, formerly the Alabama statewide interoperability coordinator (SWIC) and SPOC contact for the state.  With their past experience and heavy involvement in FirstNet’s efforts within their respective states and the region, Lesia, Ehrin and Chuck will be tremendous additions to the work FirstNet does to engage with key stakeholders across the region.

On April 21, FirstNet presented at a standing Washington Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee meeting as part of its 2016 consultation.  The meeting was attended by over 40 participants from the State of Washington, including senior level influencers from the Governor’s Office and influential chiefs from the fire, EMS, and law enforcement agencies.  At the meeting, FirstNet staff presented on the timeline for FirstNet’s implementation in Washington, state plan development, FirstNet’s role once the network has been deployed, and strategic roadmap updates.  The meeting provided a terrific opportunity for FirstNet and representatives from Washington State to engage in a valuable information exchange, which included discussions related to Local Control and opt-in and opt-out scenarios.

The tribal team participated in two focused engagements last week – the Native American Finance Officers Association’s (NAFOA) 34th Annual Conference in Chandler, Arizona and tribal meetings in Connecticut.  At the NAFOA conference, FirstNet provided an update on the RFP process, state plans development and delivery, and funding to deploy and maintain the network and participated on the panel “Broadband Economies: Telecom’s Value to Tribal Communities,” where discussion focused on the build-out of tribal broadband infrastructure and the fundamental needs of tribal public safety. The tribal team and Region 2 Lead also joined the Connecticut SPOC team for two separate meetings with public safety officials from the state’s two federally recognized tribes, the Mashantucket (Western) Pequot Nation and the Mohegan Tribe. Each tribe operates destination resort casinos, which are leading employers with statewide economic impact. As such, their coverage needs are well understood and appreciated. Both meetings furthered already strong relationships between the tribal and state governments

Last week, FirstNet published four new entries on its blog: Spring SPOC Meeting Dives Deep into FirstNet Implementation, State Plan Process, An Enduring Network for Public SafetyMobile World Congress 2016: Checking Out Wireless Technology Advancements for Potential Use in the NPSBN, and FirstNet Achieves Clean Audit Opinion for Fiscal Year 2015.  The “Enduring Network” blog received considerable and positive attention on social media, and was the subject of several media reports.  All blog posts can also be accessed through the FirstNet blog landing page at:

This week, FirstNet is participating in the SMILE (Social Media, the Internet and Law Enforcement) conference in Alexandria, Virginia; a SAFECOM meeting in Jacksonville, Florida; the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police Annual Leadership Conference in Casper, Wyoming; the 2016 Minnesota Public Safety Interoperable Communications Conference in St. Cloud, Minnesota; the Massachusetts FirstNet Advisory Board meeting in Framingham, Massachusetts; the FedScoop Public Sector Innovation Summit in Arlington, Virginia; the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement Public Meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico; the California First Responder Network Board Meeting in Sacramento, California; the Louisiana Governance Board Meeting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) State Broadband Leaders Network meeting in Crystal City, Virginia; the Indiana National Emergency Number Association/Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (NENA/APCO) Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana; the Maryland EMS Care 2016 Conference in Ocean City, Maryland; and the Connecticut Emergency Management Symposium 2016 in Cromwell, Connecticut.

News from the PSAC, States and Territories

A number of PSAC conference calls were conducted last week.  The Early Builder Working Group (EBWG) held its monthly meeting via conference call.  The EBWG has shifted focus of their monthly meetings from project status updates to sharing and capturing lessons learned.  The PSAC Identity, Credential, and Access Management (ICAM) Task Team met to discuss a user access exercise and revisit ICAM attributes and roles, and FirstNet facilitated PSAC State and Local and Law Enforcement focus group calls to coordinate engagements with these member associations and messaging.

Check out a new video titled Law Enforcement Broadband Video, published by the Texas team, available at

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.

Urgent Communications 4/19: Here’s the aspect of FirstNet’s independence that should matter most to public-safety agencies, potential offerors

Almost from the moment FirstNet was created, questions have been raised about the meaning of its description as an “independent authority” within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Is FirstNet a government entity, because it is housed within NTIA, a government agency? Is it as independent as a commercial enterprise, free to act nimbly to market movements

Web and Social Media

FirstNet social media enjoyed steady traffic. Twitter gained 31 followers and is now at 3,514 followers, while LinkedIn has 1,466 followers. YouTube now has 255 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.