FirstNet Weekly Update to the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) – August 22, 2016

FirstNet News

Last Thursday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker announced the reappointment of Sue Swenson, Jeff Johnson, and Teri Takai to the FirstNet Board of Directors. Sue Swenson will continue to serve as Board Chair for another two-year term. Board member Barry Boniface has decided not to seek reappointment to his seat due to the demands of his business, but he has agreed to remain on until a replacement is found or until the end of the year, whichever occurs first. For more information, please see the blog post.

The FirstNet Board and Finance Committee will hold a Special Meeting via teleconference on Friday, August 26.  Members of the public may listen to the meeting by dialing toll free 1.800.369.1808 and the passcode 7322336. 

Last week, FirstNet attended the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. CEO Mike Poth provided the keynote address at APCO’s Distinguished Achievers Breakfast, where he addressed nearly 1,100 attendees about the valuable contributions FirstNet will make to the future of public safety communications. In the FirstNet Town Hall Meeting, Mike, President TJ Kennedy, and other FirstNet staff provided an overview and timely updates about significant milestones that FirstNet has achieved and answered questions. FirstNet’s breakout session, “FirstNet and NG9-1-1,” was attended by over 60 people, including PSAC Chair Harlin McEwen, a number of state and territory single points of contact (SPOCs), and State Planning Committee members. FirstNet also hosted an Early Builders Roundtable, with panelists from Colorado, Los Angeles, and Texas, who discussed the valuable lessons learned as part of the PSAC’s Early Builders Working Group (EBWG).

Also last week, FirstNet attended the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) 2016 Fire-Rescue International in San Antonio, Texas. FirstNet Board Chair Swenson and Vice Chair Johnson provided a brief FirstNet update to the IAFC Board of Directors and answered questions from the members. The IAFC Board passed a motion to draft a position statement in support of FirstNet and its mission to meet the broadband data needs of public safety. In addition, FirstNet debuted its new large exhibit booth, presented updates to 14 committees, and conducted a general education session, “FirstNet: The Future of Firefighting,” with approximately 50 attendees. FirstNet staff also had the opportunity to film video interviews with several metropolitan and volunteer fire chiefs in attendance and to do a ride along with the Austin, Texas Fire Department.  Videos from the event are available on FirstNet’s Twitter account.

FirstNet posted two blog entries last week, FirstNet Board Members Appointed by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker: Member Statements and Delivering Actionable Data Via Innovative Apps, Devices, the fourth in the series “10 Ways FirstNet Will Help Public Safety Save Lives and Secure Communities”.  All blog posts are available on the FirstNet blog at: 

 FirstNet has now completed 37 state Governance Body Consultation Meetings, meeting with the U.S. Virgin Islands’ Territory Wide Communication Interoperability Governance Board last week.

FirstNet also held two Quality of Service, Priority, and Preemption (QPP) Consultation Task Team (CTT) meetings last week, including one with Region VII and another with representatives from seven federal departments and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The primary topics of discussion with Region VII were loading, capacity, and device management, while the federal discussion dealt more heavily with primary user states and data prioritization on the network.

FirstNet has created a fact sheet to address any questions on network funding and revenue reinvestment provisions.  It can be found HERE on the FirstNet resources page.

This week FirstNet will be participating in the National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD) Annual Conference and Technology Showcase in Washington, DC; a Metro Engagement Meeting in Mesa, Arizona; the National Governors Association Policy Academy in Julian, West Virginia; the Virginia Regional Preparedness Advisory Committee for Interoperability Region 5 meeting in Chesapeake; a Metro Engagement Meeting in Denver, Colorado; the National EMS Safety Summit in Denver, Colorado; a New Mexico Pueblo Tribal Police Chiefs meeting in Albuquerque; an Oklahoma Public Safety Communications Tribal Advisory Committee meeting in Oklahoma City; and a Region VIII QPP CTT in Bozeman, Montana.

Last week the FirstNet Tribal Team held positive discussions with the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida; presented at a regional FCC Tribal Broadband, Telecom, and Broadcast Training and Consultation Workshop in Washington; and briefed the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) Energy & Telecommunications Committee. The FCC engagement provided FirstNet the opportunity to meet with tribal IT and telecommunications personnel, and led to an invitation to accompany the FCC’s Office of Native Affairs & Programs at all their regional meetings.

Note from NTIA: Should tribal members express interest in attending FirstNet’s Southwest Border Forum (August 30-31 in Phoenix, AZ) or the National Tribal Emergency Management Conference (September 21-23 in Lemoore, CA), SPOCs may choose to support participation as an allocable state and local implementation grant program (SLIGP) expenditure.  Allowances may include the cost of transportation to and from, along with prorated reimbursement (based upon the event agenda), dependent upon full attendance at FirstNet presentations.  Please speak with your SLIGP federal program officer for a detailed understanding of how to properly account for these costs.

News from the PSAC, States and Territories

The new PSAC website is now live!  We hope the embedded social media feed and fresh ‘Committee Membership’ tab will drive additional traffic to your respective websites and associations. Please send any and all feedback on the new page to

The Early Builders Working Group is holding its monthly teleconference meeting this Wednesday, August 24, from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET.

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 8/18: FirstNet names eight recipients in $26.8 million grant program to relocate 700 MHz narrowband systems

“FirstNet today announced that eight public-safety entities will receive a total of $26.8 million to fund the relocation of their narrowband systems to different 700 MHz frequencies, clearing the airwaves for FirstNet’s nationwide public-safety broadband network that is scheduled to be built during the next several years.”

Mission Critical Communications 8/18: Swenson, Johnson, Takai Reappointed to FirstNet Board, 

“U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker reappointed three First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board members, including Chairwoman Sue Swenson, to three-year terms. Jeff Johnson, FirstNet vice chair, and Teri Takai, senior advisor at the Center for Digital Government, were also reappointed. Swenson will continue to serve as chairwoman of the FirstNet board for another two-year term.”

Web and Social Media

FirstNet’s social media presence grew faster than normal this week. Twitter gained more than 75 new followers, now at 4,069. Facebook has 372 followers. LinkedIn now has 1,650 followers. YouTube has 313 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.