NTIA Declines Comment on FirstNet Board Appointments

A spokesman for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration declined to comment today on when an announcement will be made on First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board appointments. FirstNet is an independent authority housed within NTIA, and the Commerce secretary officially makes nonpermanent board appointments, with advice from NTIA. However, a Commerce Department source said today that an announcement may come as early as next week.

One of the 12 nonpermanent board member seats is currently vacant, and appointments of four other nonpermanent board members were due to expire last month, after being extended from last August.

They are the appointments of Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank, former Vermont governor James Douglas, retired telecom industry executive Ed Reynolds, and Hennepin County, Minn., Sheriff Richard Stanek. They are still listed on FirstNet’s website as board members, but the NTIA spokesman declined to comment on whether they are still board members.

At a meeting last month, FirstNet Chairwoman Sue Swenson said that NTIA Administrator David Redl had said he would give “a very high priority” to getting closure from the Commerce Department by the end of last month on approval of board members (TR Daily, Dec. 7, 2017).

Mr. Redl was sworn in as the head of NTIA in early November after his confirmation was delayed over Internet governance questions. That delay seems to have pushed back action on the board seats.- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily