The FirstNet Federal Border Forum (Southwest) wrapped up on August 31st in Phoenix, Arizona. The two-day event was attended by local, state, tribal and federal public safety stakeholders from the southwest border region. The Departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Interior, and Justice were represented. State and local representatives from Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Texas also participated, as well as regional tribes from the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo, Salt River Pima, Ft. Mojave, Ft. McDowell, Navajo Nation, and Tonoho O’odam Nation. Presentation topics included: FirstNet 101; agency operations along the border; Early Builder program updates from New Mexico, Harris County, and LA-RICS; and FirstNet-related technical subjects such as Radio Access Networks, devices, applications, and LTE standards. As an adjunct to the Federal Border Forum, PSAC Chair Harlin McEwen had an introductory meeting with the recently appointed Chair and Vice-Chair of the PSAC Federal Working Group, who were both in attendance at the Forum.
The Texas Early Builder Program hosted FirstNet staff and stakeholders from Washington State, Oregon, and Idaho for a demonstration of the implementation and use of the network in Harris and Brazos counties last week. The Port of Houston provided a briefing detailing their operational needs, use of LTE, and past use cases. The Harris County technical team also provided a system overview and shared lessons learned from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in March that are being leveraged in planning for support of the Super Bowl. Attendees toured the Disaster City training facility in College Station and discussed the use of LTE during exercises. The team visited the Harris County Core at Texas A&M University and their Public Safety Communication Lab. The Brazos County Sheriff’s Department shared information about their use of the network, including coverage measurement, transition to Band 14, applications, and video management.
FirstNet posted two blog entries last week: VIDEO: Going Social Can Keep The Public Informed, Prepared in Disaster or Emergency, and IAFC FRI 2016 Recap. All blog posts are available on the FirstNet blog at: www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog.
FirstNet held a series of engagements in Guam last week, including a meeting with the Governor, a Governance Body Meeting (now completing 38 Governance Body Meetings), and a Quality of Service, Priority, and Preemption (QPP) Consultation Task Team (CTT) meeting. Participants were interested in whether FirstNet would help them avoid roaming charges and achieve interoperability when traveling to other Pacific territories, Hawaii, and the mainland.
The FirstNet tribal team met with three tribes in Montana last week, including the Blackfeet Nation, the Crow Tribe of Montana, and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. Tribal representatives discussed the issues they face with large swaths of territory without network connectivity, combined with the millions of tourists they see annually to tribal and adjacent areas such as Glacier National Park and the Little Bighorn Battlefield.
This week, FirstNet will be participating in the Missouri NENA Conference in Springfield; the Arizona APCO/NENA Conference in Tempe; a Rhode Island Interoperable Communications Committee meeting in Lincoln; the East Alabama EMS Chiefs Conference and an Alabama State Emergency Medical Control Committee meeting in Oxford; CTIA Super Mobility 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada; Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement public meetings in St. Paul, Minnesota and Des Moines, Iowa; the PSAC State & Local Focus Group Quarterly Teleconference; the Rural Wireless Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada; the Kentucky Emergency Services Conference in Louisville; a Southern California Tribal Emergency Managers meeting in Banning; the Florida Governance Body Meeting in Tallahassee; a Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments 9-1-1 Director’s Committee meeting in Washington, DC; and the National Organization of State offices of Rural Health Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.
News from the PSAC, States and Territories
The PSAC’s State and Local Focus Group is holding its quarterly meeting on Wednesday, September 7 from 3:00pm-4:00pm ET.
The PSAC’s Tribal Working Group (TWG) is holding its monthly teleconference on Tuesday, September 6 from 2:30pm-3:30pm ET.
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RCR Wireless 8/31: Understanding FirstNet, the post-9/11 public safety initiative
The First Responder Network Authority is an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration created to provide emergency responders with a nationwide, high-speed, broadband network dedicated to public safety.
Homeland Preparedness News 8/31: FirstNet applauds FCC action in planning for Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) commended the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Friday for moving forward with two separate items regarding the implementation of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network.
Web and Social Media
FirstNet’s social media presence grew at the normal rate this week. Twitter gained almost 50 new followers, now at 4,144. Facebook has 386 followers. LinkedIn now has 1,663 followers. YouTube has 323 subscribers.
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