On Friday, the FirstNet Board approved a $6.585 billion budget that will support the award of the FirstNet Network contract in Fiscal Year 2017 and includes $85 million for FirstNet operations. Additional information is available in this FirstNet press release.
Also last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved forward on two items related to the planning of the FirstNet Network. The FCC unanimously voted to release a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on the process it will use for any state or territory that chooses to deploy its own Radio Access Network, as well as an Order on the relocation of Band 14 public safety incumbents. FirstNet commended the FCC on taking these critical steps in planning for the Network in a press release.
FirstNet posted three blog entries last week: #APCO2016 Highlights Strong Commitment to Public Safety Mission; Crowdsourcing Solutions for Public Safety Communications (reposted from the Public Safety Communications Research program’s Quarterly Newsletter); and Ride along: See how mobile devices help first responders work effectively and save lives, the fifth 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: www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog
FirstNet held a Region VIII Quality of Service, Priority, and Preemption (QPP) Consultation Task Team (CTT) meeting in Montana. Participants focused on the provisioning of users, devices, and applications; network coverage and capacity in rural areas; and establishing local control across state boundaries.
FirstNet also held two Metro Engagement Meetings in Mesa, Arizona, and Denver, Colorado. Questions focused on the FirstNet business model, the device and applications ecosystem, local control, and making sure that public safety’s interests would remain FirstNet’s number one goal.
On the tribal front last week, FirstNet presented to the District IV Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)/Tribal Chiefs Quarterly Meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Oklahoma Public Safety Communications Tribal Advisory Committee in Oklahoma City. The Albuquerque meeting was attended by 11 New Mexico Tribes, the BIA-Office of Justice Services, FBI, US Marshalls Service, US Attorney’s Office, New Mexico State Police, and the New Mexico Fusion Center. In Oklahoma City, there were attendees from 13 tribes, the state Office of Native Affairs, and other local and state agencies.
This week, FirstNet will be participating in a Pennsylvania East Central FirstNet Regional Meeting in Reading; the FirstNet Federal Border Forum (Southwest) in Phoenix, Arizona; The International Justice and Public Safety Network (Nlets) 2016 Implementers Workshop in Scottsdale, Arizona; a Texas Early Builder Demonstration in Brazos and Harris counties; a QPP CTT, Governance Body Meeting, and Governor Meeting in Guam; meetings with three tribes in Montana; and the NTIA’s Fostering the Advancement of the Internet of Things workshop in Alexandria, Virginia.
As a reminder: Should tribal members express interest in attending FirstNet’s Federal Border Forum (Southwest) (August 30-31 in Phoenix, AZ) or the National Tribal Emergency Management Conference (September 21-23 in Lemoore, California), state and territory single points of contact (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 PSAC’s Executive Committee will meet for their monthly conference call Monday August 29 from 4:00pm-5:00pm ET.
The Texas and Los Angeles-Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) projects of the PSAC’s Early Builders Working Group (EBWG) are attending the Federal Border Forum (SW) this week in Phoenix, Arizona. They will be sharing project updates and lessons learned.
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Homeland Preparedness News 8/23: FirstNet awards grants to eight agencies under Band 14 spectrum program
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) awarded funds on Thursday to eight agencies for its Band 14 Incumbent Spectrum Relocation Grant program.
Urgent Communications 8/23: Reappointment of Swenson to top spot on FirstNet board is great news for public safety
Last week, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker reappointed FirstNet Chairwoman Sue Swenson to another three-year term on the FirstNet board, including two years as the organization’s top official. Maintaining the status quo may not seem particularly newsworthy in most situations, but it is in this case—a credit to Swenson and her impact to date on FirstNet.
Fedscoop 8/22: Experts: States play key role in coordinating FirstNet, next-gen 911 efforts
As states look to team up on the development of a nationwide broadband network for first responders and move to “next-generation” 911 services, IT shops have a key role to play in coordinating these complex projects, according to a panel of public safety communications experts.
Web and Social Media.
FirstNet’s social media presence grew at the normal rate this week. Twitter gained more than 25 new followers, now at 4,096. Facebook has 382 followers. LinkedIn now has 1,658 followers. YouTube has 320 subscribers.