FirstNet held an open public joint meeting of the FirstNet Governance and Personnel, Finance, Technology, and Consultation and Outreach Committees on June 29 in Chicago, Illinois, followed the next day by an open public meeting of the full FirstNet Board. Additional details can be found in the press release on the FirstNet website.
FirstNet has now completed 28 State Governance Body Consultation Meetings, with a presentation to the Utah Communications Authority (UCA) in Sandy on June 28. The meeting was attended by roughly 40 public safety representatives from various local, state, and tribal organizations, including the Governor’s General Counsel, the Director of the Utah Department of Indian Affairs, Paul Patrick (PSAC Member representing the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMO)), and numerous police and fire chiefs from around the state. Questions centered on general timelines for adoption, the Governor’s decision, land mobile radio (LMR) vs. long-term evolution (LTE) networks, rural vs. urban build-out processes, and FirstNet network coverage, user costs, and sustainability.
On June 29, FirstNet held the Region I Quality of Service, Priority and Preemption (QPP) Consultation Task Team (CTT) meeting with more than 25 public safety representatives from across multiple jurisdictions and disciplines. Participants focused largely on the definition of network users and how those definitions would play out operationally during an incident, while others provided valuable feedback regarding how they envisioned different users utilizing the FirstNet network.
That same day, FirstNet hosted a QPP CTT webinar with five Nevada public safety officials. The discussion focused on the different network states, the effect of user devices on cell sectors, and the provisioning of QPP profiles to meet Nevada’s needs. Participants also expressed a desire to receive training on the network and possibly conduct a scenario-based exercise.
Last week, FirstNet staff provided updates to approximately 30 attendees representing metropolitan areas at the National Homeland Security Conference in Tampa, Florida. Specifically, the staff discussed the path to network deployment, status of the PSAC and its membership, device compatibility, applications, and potential uses of the FirstNet network for public safety.
Also last week, FirstNet attended OhioFirst.Net’s LTE Pilot Media Day in Beavercreek and spoke to the group, including industry representatives, about the origins of FirstNet, what the network promises from a national perspective, and various LTE topics. The media day also provided FirstNet with an opportunity to talk with the two co-state single points of contact (SPOCs) for Ohio.
This week, FirstNet is participating in a meeting with the Maryland SPOC and other state officials in Annapolis; the Virginia Regional preparedness Advisory Committee for Interoperability – Region V meeting in Chesapeake; a discussion with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in Washington, DC; a Virginia Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security meeting in Richmond; and the Nebraska EMS Conference in Kearney.
News from the PSAC, States and Territories
The Identity, Credential and Access Management (ICAM) and Local Control Task Teams are on track to submit their final recommendations to FirstNet via the PSAC Executive Committee (EC) no later than July 28, 2016.
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Urgent Comms 6/30: FirstNet announces new staff positions as organization prepares for post-award challenges
FirstNet this week took steps to begin the transition from a startup organization focused on the procurement process to build a nationwide public-safety broadband network to one that is prepared to deliver services to first-responder customers, including the establishment of two new units.
Urgent Comms 6/28: Big-picture question about FirstNet’s commercial role bubbles to the surface
During last week’s hearing about FirstNet, U.S. senators focused on the need to address rural issues, including topics like deployment timelines and coverage for first responders in sparsely populated areas—geographic regions that tend to be served last by the commercial space, if they are served at all. Given this commercial history and the fact that FirstNet is in the process of selecting a team of commercial partners, the senators’ desire to protect rural public-safety users is understandable. However, Congress did a good job protecting those interests by including rural-coverage requirements in the legislation that established FirstNet
Web and Social Media
FirstNet social media continues to grow. Facebook has 181 followers, Twitter gained 20 new followers and is now at 3,861 followers, while LinkedIn has 1,589 followers. YouTube now has 286 subscribers.
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