FirstNet was in Kansas City, Missouri, last week for the International City/County Management Association’s (ICMA) 102nd Annual Conference. Drew Delaney and ICMA representative to the PSAC Mark Ryckman provided an overview of FirstNet and encouraged city managers to engage with their SPOCs to prepare their public safety agencies for the option to subscribe to FirstNet service. Questions from the audience included topics such as FirstNet’s business plan, rural coverage, priority and preemption, cost of service, and deployment timelines.
On Thursday, FirstNet President TJ Kennedy and Board Member Kevin McGinnis attended a full meeting of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) in Washington, DC. TJ provided a FirstNet update to the NPSTC Governing Board, discussing the key steps taken on FirstNet’s Strategic Roadmap and the timeline for the governor’s decision. He thanked the NPSTC members for their continued support and emphasized that as FirstNet moves toward implementation, NPSTC will be important in educating public safety agencies on adoption and deployment of the FirstNet network.
FirstNet has now completed 43 State Governance Body Consultation Meetings with a meeting in Alabama last week. FirstNet representatives met with the Alabama First Responders Wireless Commission on Monday at the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency headquarters in Montgomery. Most of the discussion revolved around the delivery of State Plans and the timeframes of the opt-in/opt-out process. There were some concerns voiced about the 90-day State Plan decision period prescribed by law and the time needed for evaluation. FirstNet emphasized that there would be collaboration with the state ahead of the delivery of the State Plan, including a draft evaluation period.
The FirstNet Tribal Team presented at the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI) annual autumn convention on quality of service, priority, and preemption, and participated in the Public Safety & Justice panel discussion at the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference (TNC). The team also worked with South Dakota’s outreach team to conduct reservation visits with a majority of the tribes in the state.
FirstNet posted two blog entries this past week: The Possibility of FirstNet for Public Safety’s Day-to-Day Business on the Street and Megahertz on the Rez: Tribal police turn to technology to help secure, protect those they serve. All blog posts are available on the FirstNet blog at: www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog.
This week, FirstNet will be participating in the 2016 EMS World Expo in New Orleans, Louisiana; a meeting of the Central Arizona Life Safety System Response Council in Phoenix; a California First Responder Network Board Meeting in Los Angeles; the Montana League of Cities and Towns Annual Conference in Missoula; the Public Safety Networks in Disasters Conference in Seoul, South Korea; the Texas Statewide Telephone Cooperative, Inc. Annual Membership Meeting in San Antonio; the Colorado APCO/NENA Conference in Westminster; the Fall 2016 PSAC Webinar; the International Association of Fire Fighters State and Provincial Meeting in Bozeman, Montana; the Montana EMS Association fall Educational Conference in Glasgow; the Municipal Information Systems Association of California Annual Conference in San Diego; the NENA 9-1-1 Standards & Best Practices Conference in Columbus, Ohio; and Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement Public Meetings in Lansing (Michigan), Los Angeles (California), and Sacramento (California).
News from the PSAC, States and Territories
The PSAC is holding its second webinar of the year on Thursday, October 6 from 1:30pm-2:30pm to discuss a new tasking and provide working group updates. If PSAC members did not receive the updated calendar invitation with the GoToMeeting link or email last week with materials for Thursday, please email PSAC@firstnet.gov.
The Massachusetts and Georgia SPOC teams have recently published articles on FirstNet in state trade publications: FirstNet and the Massachusetts Fire Service in the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services’ All Hands Herald, and First Responder Wireless Network Readies for Next Steps in the Association County Commissioners of Georgia’s Georgia County Government. Please reach out to FirstNet if you are interested in guest blogging with FirstNet, or for assistance with having an article published in your state associations’ publications.
The Illinois SPOC team produced an 11-minute educational video on FirstNet. Please distribute the link to anyone you think might benefit from it! The YouTube link is here: https://youtu.be/3mScAbou9BI, and the Vimeo link is here: https://vimeo.com/184942543.
As of a few weeks ago, the Tennessee FirstNet team has now conducted FirstNet outreach and education initiatives in all 95 counties within the state. Great work!
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Urgent Comms 9/28: FirstNet education is crucial, but it does not lend itself to sound bites, elevator pitches
Within several weeks, we should know which bidding team has been awarded the FirstNet contract to build and operate a nationwide public-safety broadband network that will be designed to carry some of the country’s most sensitive communications for the next 25 years.
Mission Critical Comms 9/27: States Request More Timely Federal Information in NTIA Opt-Out Comments
Ten states, a Virginia county and the District of Columbia submitted comments to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) notice and request for comments regarding the State Alternative Plan Program (SAPP) and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). Concerns about the timing, additional information from federal entities overseeing the process, grant evaluation, transparency and other issues were raised in the comments.
Web and Social Media
FirstNet’s social media presence grew at the normal rate this week. Twitter gained more than 30 new followers, now at 4,275. Facebook has 445 followers. LinkedIn now has 1,701 followers. YouTube has 332 subscribers.