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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update- January 20, 2015

FirstNet News

  • We completed the eleventh consultation meeting on January 14 with Colorado.  The meeting was notable for having a large number of representatives from state and local public safety agencies; the more than 125 participants included SPOCs from several states. 
  • We are preparing for the upcoming Federal consultation “kick-off” meeting in Washington, DC on January 21.  Representatives from more than 13 federal agencies are slated to attend – including DOD, DHS, DOJ, FCC, and others – as well as PSAC Chairman Harlin McEwen and the Washington, DC SPOC Jack Burbridge.  The main objectives for this meeting are to 1) Establish a baseline understanding of FirstNet activities among federal agencies; 2) Formally distribute Initial Preparation Package checklists to federal agencies; and 3) Initiate outreach engagement cycles between FirstNet and federal agencies.

  • This week FirstNet will be at the Kansas Statewide Broadband Initiative Conference.  FirstNet will also speak on a FirstNet focused webinar on January 22, coordinated by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), to local government managers and their staffs.

  • Upcoming initial consultation meetings are: Kentucky (1/28), Texas (2/11-2/12), Delaware (2/19), Wyoming (2/25), Arkansas (3/4), Massachusetts (3/12), Nebraska (3/18-3/19), Washington, DC (3/26), South Dakota (4/1), North Carolina (4/23) and South Carolina (4/29).

  • To date, FirstNet has received completed state consultation checklists from 44 states and territories: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

  • The PSCR conference will be held from June 3-5 at the Omni Hotel in San Diego, following the June 1 PSAC meeting and the June 2-3 FirstNet committee and board meetings. Visit the PSCR website for more information.

  • As discussed on the January 8th webinar, FirstNet sent out letters to 36 Federal agencies on January 16, 2015, inviting them to be Cooperating Agencies on the FirstNet Programmatic Environmental Impact Statements (PEISs).  Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), FirstNet is required to reach out to agencies that may have an interest in our proposed action for reasons of either jurisdiction or expertise; in this case the proposed action is the design, construction, and deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network.  This letter was sent to agency NEPA Coordinators or appropriate environmental staff.  We have included a template letter for your reference, as well as a list of the agencies that were contacted.


From the States and PSAC Organizations


  • The January SPOC calls begin this week, with Regions 4 and 6-8 on 1/21; Region 1-2 and 10 on 1/22; Region 3 on 1/23; and Regions 5 and 9 on 1/26.

  • Last week, Sue Swenson and Jeff Johnson presented to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) board. This week includes presentations to the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA).

  • Kristi Wilde joined the Oregon Chapter of APCO/NENA for their quarterly meetings on the Oregon coast.  Christy Williams, NENA National President, and others discussed the practical side of updating technology to Next Generation 9-1-1.  Kristi spoke at the meeting about the current status of FirstNet planning, and along with Christy, encouraged PSAP managers to stay tuned in and participate in the state consultation/planning process.

     

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.

Traditional Media
Similar to last week, most of the media coverage focused on state and local consultation and planning for FirstNet.  The Colorado consultation meeting was covered by a reporter from the Mission Critical Radio Resources trade publication, and she plans to file at least two stories about the event.  Two local TV stations in Iowa ran stories about the state’s outreach and planning activities around the NPSBN.

Additionally, the President’s broadband announcement received considerable attention from both the mainstream and telecommunications trade press. While the President’s broadband initiatives do not provide for any public safety-specific activities, the

Administration did make a strong commitment to building broadband capacity in communities in all parts of the nation, especially with regard to rural communities   Top stories are listed below:


Communications Daily (Summary): Texas Seeks Stakeholder Input Ahead of FirstNet

The Texas Statewide Communications Interoperability Coordinator’s office sent a survey to stakeholders Tuesday to collect input on FirstNet in preparation for its first consultation meeting with FirstNet officials, set for Feb. 11-12. “The goal of the initial consultation is to provide FirstNet with a better understanding of the Texas public safety data communications landscape and challenges,” said Deputy Statewide Interoperability Coordinator Karla Jurrens in an email to stakeholders. Stakeholders who fill out the survey will also be able to submit a question for FirstNet officials to answer during the consultation meeting, Jurrens said.


KCRG-TV - IA: Linn County Emergency Personnel Consider Exclusive Broadband Network

http://www.kcrg.com/subject/news/linn-county-emergency-personnel-consider-exclusive-broadband-network-20150113

Firefighters, police officers, and other public service officials attended a presentation on the First Alert Network Authority (FirstNet) in Linn County on Tuesday. As part of a bill signed into law by Congress in 2012, FirstNet is in the process of creating infrastructure for a nationwide wireless broadband network to be used exclusively by public safety officials. The presentation was led by Shawn Wagner, outreach specialist for the Iowa Statewide Interoperable Communications System Board (ISICSB), and its chairman, Thomas Lampe.


KGAN-TV - IA: FirstNet: Emergency Network

http://www.cbs2iowa.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/firstnet-emergency-network-33227.shtml

Not being able to get a cell signal in a normal situation is annoying, but in an emergency, it can mean the difference between life and death. It's called FirstNet and won't be available for another two years. First responders across the country and here in Iowa, will be able to dial in via an app on their phone when other lines are busy during an emergency. During the Boston Marathon bombing, many were not able to make a call to a loved one or 9-1-1. "We need a network that's reliable, that we won't have problems getting on," Sgt. Thomas Lampe said, Department of Public Safety. Sgt. Lampe said FirstNet is the next step to solve that issue. Related Link: http://youtu.be/OKA1ydH_8Bg


TR Daily (Summary): N.M. OFFICIAL URGES FirstNet to Provide Flexibility on Access to Network

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) should provide states and localities flexibility to allow non-traditional first responders such as utilities access to the network during emergencies, and should also give them flexibility regarding priority access, New Mexico Chief Information Officer Darryl Ackley said today. During a webinar this afternoon sponsored by the Keller and Heckman LLP law firm, Mr. Ackley also noted that FirstNet is under considerable pressure to act quickly in planning and building a nationwide public safety network. But he said officials must act in a balanced fashion to ensure there is transparency and that money is spent wisely. “There’s really a lot of pressure to operate very quickly, and yet I think that the folks there recognize that, you know, there’s a lot of diligence that needs to take place, and when you’re talking about dealing with all the states and all the various entities therein, that’s not necessarily something you can do very quickly,” he added. Mr. Ackley also said that critical infrastructure industry entities such as utilities can partner in the deployment of the network, including in rural areas, and he urged CII parties to learn the issues related to FirstNet and meet the players, including single points of contact (SPOC). Mr. Ackley is the SPOC for New Mexico. He also said that FirstNet is “trying to have as open a door as possible.”


Social Media

Social media discussions about FirstNet focused mostly on outreach and consultation in the states and territories.  In addition, the updated “FirstNet by the Number” infographic received significant and positive attention on social media.  The FirstNet Twitter account now has more than 1,450 followers, and the LinkedIn account has grown to more than 460 followers.  We posted a number of blogs this past week detailing our outreach and consultation with the states: http://www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog.


Monday, January 12, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update- January 12, 2015

FirstNet News

  • Last week, FirstNet had the initial consultation meeting with Nevada on 1/7 in conjunction with the Nevada Public Safety Communications Committee (NPSCC) meeting. More than 50 first responders and state leaders from Nevada attended.  It provided a good opportunity to address the many questions and concerns attendees had; learn how mobile data is currently being used by emergency responders in Nevada; and identify next steps for gathering information on potential users and coverage.

  • Thanks again to those SPOCs who were able to join us for the first Quarterly SPOC Webinar of 2015 on 1/8.  The slides are available at http://www.firstnet.gov/resourcesAs we are preparing for our monthly regional SPOC calls beginning 1/22, please let Kristi Wilde know if there is anything in particular you want to follow up on or add to the agenda for that week.

  • This week FirstNet will be at the Tribal Nations Community of Practice Advanced Tribal Liaison Training and Meeting convened by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and at the Oregon APCO/NENA quarterly meeting.

  • U.S. Forest Service National Law Enforcement Radio Program Manager Deborah Otto Oberg will be visiting FirstNet’s Reston office on 1/16 to meet with FirstNet leadership and staff.

  • Colorado’s initial consultation meeting is 1/14. Other confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings are: Kentucky (1/28), Texas (2/11), Delaware (2/19), Wyoming (2/25), Arkansas (3/4), Massachusetts (3/12), Nebraska (3/18-3/19), Washington DC (3/26), South Dakota (4/1), North Carolina (4/23) and South Carolina (4/29).

  • FirstNet will be hosting a Federal Kickoff Summit on 1/21 in Washington, D.C. The Kickoff summit is preparation for individual agency consultations with FirstNet.

  • To date, FirstNet has received completed state consultation checklists from 44 states and territories: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

  • FirstNet has posted an update to the “FirstNet by the Numbers” document. You can find the new version at http://www.firstnet.gov/resources.

 

From the States and PSAC Organizations

  • Last week, Sue Swenson and Jeff Johnson presented to the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association board and this week, they will present to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) board.

 

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.

 

Traditional Media
Media coverage this week included several articles on FirstNet consultation, rural broadband, and other local news about FirstNet progress in their state/territory.  Additionally, an article was written on the upcoming Public-Safety LTE Demo Network Planned for World Ski Championships in Colorado. 

 

Urgent Communications: FirstNet to 911 Leaders: Call Your SPOC

http://urgentcomm.com/ng-911/firstnet-911-leaders-call-your-spoc

Contacting the single point of contact (SPOC) in a given state or territory is a good way for 911 leaders to become involved in the ongoing FirstNet consultation process, FirstNet Outreach Director Amanda Hilliard said during a recent webinar.

 

Radio Resource: Public-Safety LTE Demo Network Planned for World Ski Championships

http://www.rrmediagroup.com/newsArticle.cfm?news_id=11566

Colorado public-safety agencies are planning to deploy a band class 14 700 MHz Long Term Evolution (LTE) demonstration network during the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships (FIS AWSC) Feb. 2 – 15 in Vail and Beaver Creek, two mountain ski resorts in the state. First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Colorado, public-safety agencies in Vail and Eagle County, General Dynamics Mission Systems and Crown Castle have collaborated to provide the network. First responders using the pilot network will experience how a dedicated wireless broadband data network compares with commercial networks and will have the opportunity to use next-generation LTE devices designed for local, state and federal responders.

 

EMS1.com (Updated Article): FirstNet Expected to Improve EMS Communication

http://www.ems1.com/communication/articles/1977859-FirstNet-expected-to-improve-EMS-communication/

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 created FirstNet and made the concept of a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) a reality. FirstNet, the governing authority created to oversee the planning and build-out of the network, encourages EMS and state representatives to participate in the process. Much conversation has focused on how the network will help first responders and its potential role in major events, such as the Boston Marathon bombing and the Navy Yard shooting. But it is expected that EMS will see benefits from the implementation of this network day-to-day, with better information on scene and the ability to provide electronic patient records to hospitals while in transit. Here’s how it could work.

 

FirstNet Colorado: Colorado State Consultation Meeting set for Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at History Colorado!

http://us8.campaign-archive1.com/?u=ad8d63576316029bf9e801fe4&id=b9aa5bd978  

The FirstNet Colorado Governing body has scheduled Colorado’s Initial State Consultation meeting with FirstNet for Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at History Colorado in downtown Denver. The State Consultation Process is an ongoing discussion between FirstNet and Colorado’s state, regional, tribal and local jurisdictions and key stakeholders to develop Colorado’s coverage, capacity and usage requirements for its state plan.  This process is intended to ensure the National Public Safety Broadband Network’s design meets the needs of Colorado’s public safety responders as well as connecting them to the rest of the country.

 

Iowa Communications Network Newsletter: FirstNet Initial Consultation Meeting in Iowa

http://icn.iowa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/2015/Jan-Feb-2015-Newsletter.pdf  

On November 18, FirstNet conducted its eighth initial consultation meeting, with this one taking place in Iowa. More than 50 state and local participants generated discussion and ideas regarding Iowa’s communications needs for the public safety broadband network. The meeting began with a round of introductions to show the variety of public safety agencies and backgrounds of participants in attendance.

 

TR Daily (Article): FirstNet ‘Making A Lot Of Progress,’ Official Says

Las Vegas — The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is “making a lot of progress” on developing an interoperable broadband public safety network, FirstNet acting Executive Director TJ Kennedy said today.

The 122 responses to FirstNet’s comprehensive network solution request for information (RFI) have provided FirstNet with “a good feel for what the community thinks needs to be done” with affordability of network services for public safety users and accelerating the speed to market among the issues raised, Mr. Kennedy said at the Wireless Symposium organized by NTCA and the Rural Wireless Association.

 

The Hill: Let's get FirstNet Right, Now

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/homeland-security/228388-lets-get-firstnet-right-now

We all remember Sept. 11, 2001. It was the first time the nation watched in real time as a large-scale terrorist attack unfolded on our soil. As a member of Congress at the time, it was not long before we learned how communication failures were impeding essential command and control operations that may have contributed to the tragedy that day. In a country as advanced as ours, it is simply hard to fathom that our first responders — firemen, policemen and others — could not work as effectively with one another as they needed in a crisis like the one unfolding before all of our eyes, in real time. Since that time, numerous emergencies — such as Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy and the Joplin tornado — have shown that our first responders are still challenged to communicate in an effective manner when we most need them to do so. A solution to this problem was outlined by the 9/11 Commission: building a nationwide interoperable broadband network for first responders known as FirstNet.

 

Social Media

Social media discussions focused on Consultation, Rural Coverage, and law enforcement outreach.  The FirstNet Twitter account now has more than 1,411 followers, and the LinkedIn account has more than 446 followers.  Several law enforcement followers joined @FirstNetGov’s network as a direct result of recent law enforcement outreach in Nevada, including @NLVPD, @ChrissieCoon, @LVMPDCTS. Our blog posts from this week can be found at: http://www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog.


Thursday, January 08, 2015

DHS's First Responder Group (FRG) Releases SAFECOM Video

DHS's First Responder Group (FRG) Releases SAFECOM Video:   Public safety communications is advancing more rapidly than ever, and helping to guide this progress is SAFECOM. This video briefly describes the SAFECOM program, an advisory group of public safety and elected officials who guide DHS in the pursuit of public safety communications interoperability. View the video here: http://go.usa.gov/M9TU.
Tuesday, January 06, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update - January 6, 2015

FirstNet News

·         This week, FirstNet will be presenting at the NTCA Rural Broadband Association Wireless Symposium and at the Metropolitan Fire Chiefs Association board meeting.

·         The first 2015 quarterly SPOC webinar is 1/8 from 2-3:30 pm EST. Key topics include summary of the RFI and public notice responses, FirstNet NEPA and NHPA compliance, and an update from the technical team. Kristi Wilde has emailed the details.

·         Nevada’s initial consultation meeting is 1/7. Other confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings are: Colorado (1/14), Kentucky (1/28), Texas (2/11), Delaware (2/19), Wyoming (2/25), Arkansas (3/4), Massachusetts (3/12), Nebraska (3/18-3/19), Washington DC (3/26), South Dakota (4/1), North Carolina (4/23) and South Carolina (4/29).

·         To date, FirstNet has received completed state consultation checklists from 43 states and territories: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

·         NTIA is accepting applications for the following vacancy which closes January 15:

Executive Director (ES-0301-00)

First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)

Location:  Reston, VA

SES vacancy announcement:  NTIA-2015-0003

Please refer to the “How To Apply” section of the vacancy announcement for instructions on application procedures and required documentation. 

·        The Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT) announced plans to host a national forum on CyberSecurity for Emergency Communications March 2-4 in California. iCERT will convene this event to foster examination, coordination and collaboration on matters of information and communications security related to public safety and emergency communications systems in the near term and into the future. TJ Kennedy and Ed Parkinson will participate in this event. Public sector stakeholders are invited to attend and while there is no fee, space will be limited. Visit the iCERT website for more information.

 

 

 

From the States and PSAC Organizations

·        Last week, New York launched a new public safety broadband website: http://psbb.ny.gov. The state intends to utilize this website as part of their outreach efforts, including background information, a calendar of events and news items. 

 

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.

 

Traditional Media
As expected, media coverage continued to be down again this week.  Published articles included several public safety vendor industry analyses and opinions, rural broadband, and other local news about FirstNet progress in their state/territory. Additionally, several reposts of the recent NTIA SLIGP grant article were posted on numerous trade publication websites.    

 

Urgent Communications: A look back at the Top 10 stories of 2014

http://urgentcomm.com/motorola-solutions/look-back-top-10-stories-2014

“FirstNet gets five new board members; Dowd, Fitzgerald not reappointed” – This year saw much change in the leadership of FirstNet, from the top paid position within the organization to the board that governs it. In September, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker appointed five new members to the board, but that slate of appointments did not include Charles Dowd and Paul Fitzgerald, even though both said they wanted to stay. Sue Swenson became the chair in May; Jeff Johnson was tapped as the vice chairman in early December. The quest to find Bill D’Agostino’s permanent replacement is underway, with applications due on Jan. 15.

 

Mission Critical Communications: SLIGP Recipients Reach Out to State Stakeholders

http://www.rrmediagroup.com/newsArticle.cfm?news_id=11551

“The $116 million in grants are helping states as they conduct outreach with public safety and state and local officials to determine their needs, gaps and priorities for public safety wireless broadband and to prepare for formal consultations with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), which is developing the public safety broadband network,” according to a blog written by Mike Dame, program director of the SLIGP.

 

Des Moines Register: Digital divide is key issue for Iowa lawmakers

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2014/12/30/broadband-expansion-iowa-legislature/21079385/

One of Sodders' ideas is converting the Iowa Communications Network into a FirstNet program, which has been authorized by Congress to provide emergency responders with a nationwide, high-speed broadband network dedicated to public safety. The FirstNet initiative, which will be eligible for federal funds, can include the National Guard, law enforcement, and Iowa's courts. He said hospitals and schools and some others now served by the Iowa Communications Network can be switched to private broadband providers.

 

Puget Sound Business Journal: New funds, landslide maps proposed as a result of Oso slide

http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/blog/2014/12/new-funds-landslide-maps-proposed-as-a-result-of.html

The committee's final report, released Dec. 15, made 17 recommendations. They include a landslide risk mapping program, designing a first responder network authority and establishing adequate funding in the state disaster response account.

 

Satellite Today: CalAmp Satellite Revenues Decline, Wireless Datacom Buoys Earnings

http://www.satellitetoday.com/technology/2014/12/30/calamp-satellite-revenues-decline-wireless-datacom-buoys-earnings/

“There are some interesting opportunities in our pipeline as it relates to public safety product demand driven by FirstNet infrastructure rollouts. This year has obviously been a dormant year in that regard but I think we are increasingly optimistic that FirstNet will be a demand driver for high-end mobile router products and potentially some services as we enter the new fiscal year,” said Burdiek.

 

RCR Wireless: Sonim tackles the ruggedized smartphone market

http://www.rcrwireless.com/20141230/devices/sonim-tackles-the-ruggedized-smartphone-market-tag2

Bob Plaschke, president and CEO of Sonim, provided some insight into how the company has seen the market for ruggedized devices evolve, including the importance of carrier relationships, which Plaschke said was “critical.” Plaschke also noted that the increased attention being paid toward the public safety community and ongoing FirstNet plans has opened up new avenues for the ruggedized device market.

 

Social Media

Social media discussions focused on Public safety apps, Consultation, Rural Coverage, SLIGP grants, 2014 in Review, New Mexico BTOP. The FirstNet Twitter account now has more than 1,376 followers, and the LinkedIn account has more than 419 followers. Our blog posts from this week can be found at: http://www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog.


Monday, December 22, 2014

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update - December 22, 2014

FirstNet News

  • We conducted the Florida initial consultation meeting on December 12. More than 60 first responders and industry leaders from Florida and neighboring states attended.  It provided a good opportunity to address the many questions and concerns attendees had; learn how mobile data is currently being used by emergency responders in Florida; and identify next steps for gathering information on potential users and coverage. 
  • The user advocacy team held the monthly SPOC calls with each of the ten regions last week – 45 states and territories were represented.
  • NTIA released its FY 2014 fourth quarter State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) summary report which includes metrics and milestones from July 2013-September 2014.  
  • Confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings in 2015 are: Nevada (1/7), Colorado (1/14), Kentucky (1/28), Texas (2/11), Delaware (2/19), Wyoming (2/25), Arkansas (3/4), Massachusetts (3/12), Nebraska (3/18-3/19), Washington DC (3/26), South Dakota (4/1), North Carolina (4/23) and South Carolina (4/29).
  • Last week, FirstNet participated in Texas Public Safety Broadband and Tribal Telecom Conference (TTC) webinar sessions; presented at the University of Alaska Institute of Social and Economic Research (ISER) Alaska Rural Broadband Workshop; and met with the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) Regional Association, Alaska Inter-tribal Council, Denali Commission, and Tanana Chiefs Conference.
  • To date, FirstNet has received completed state consultation checklists from 38 states and territories: Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
  • FirstNet recently posted blogs on two of the Early Builder projects – read more about the New Jersey project at http://firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog/early-builders-blog-new-jersey%E2%80%99s-deployable-public-safety-broadband-network and the New Mexico project at http://firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog/early-builders-new-mexico-partner-federal-agencies-provide-broadband-border.
  • Happy Holidays! We will resume the weekly FirstNet updates on Monday, January 5.

  From the States and PSAC Organizations

  • The PSAC Early Builder working group conducted their kickoff call on December 16.  The working group plans to submit its initial recommendations on lessons learned and early builder strategies to the PSAC Executive Committee by January 31.
  • The National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD) conducts four Regional meetings each year and one National Technology Showcase Forum. The link to the meetings calendar is: http://www.nastd.org/meetings/new-item. Information Technology and Communications Service Providers are welcome to participate in these meetings. Additional information may be obtained at the NASTD website

 

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.

 

Traditional Media
There was significant media coverage on a number of FirstNet related issues this week – including analysis reports on the Department of Commerce Office of Inspector General audit report released December 9.   

 

Government Technology: Year in Review: Making Sense of 2014

http://www.govtech.com/public-safety/April-2014-A-Mixed-Bag-for-FirstNet.html

The effort to build a nationwide broadband network for public safety faced its share of ups and downs in 2014. The good news: The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) passed some real milestones this year. In April, the FirstNet Board made key appointments, naming Ali Afrashteh as CTO and Jim Gwinn as CIO. Afrashteh, a telecom industry veteran with vast wireless experience, leads planning and deployment of the network. Gwinn, former CIO for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, is in charge of FirstNet’s internal IT and communications. FirstNet officials also met with Maryland first responders in July, marking the beginning of state-by-state consultations that will dictate the new network’s blueprint. And a few months later, FirstNet’s governing board released an RFI seeking industry input on the network’s design, a precursor to an actual RFP for the project.

 

Urgent Communications: With IG report in Rearview Mirror, It's Time to Let FirstNet Pursue Its Plans

http://urgentcomm.com/blog/ig-report-rearview-mirror-its-time-let-firstnet-pursue-its-plans

With this week's release of the Inspector General report, Congress should resist the temptation to take punitive action against FirstNet. Instead, lawmakers should ensure that the problems cited in the IG report have been resolved and let FirstNet proceed on its current roadmap for deploying a much-needed nationwide broadband network for first responders.

 

TR Daily (Summary): FirstNet Executive Director Position Posted

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has posted on USAJOBS the position of executive director of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), the newly named title of the authority’s top manager. The salary range for the positions is $120,749 to $181,500 and it is a Senior Executive Service slot. FirstNet also has retained an executive search firm to help it identify candidates. Bill D'Agostino Jr., resigned as general manager in April (TRDaily, April 14) and TJ Kennedy has served as acting GM since then.

 

Executive Biz Blog: Randy Fuerst, Oceus CEO, on Public Safety Market Opportunities and Federal BYOD Programs

http://blog.executivebiz.com/2014/12/randy-fuerst-oceus-ceo-on-public-safety-market-opportunities-and-federal-byod-programs/

We recently won a first responder contract in the state of New Jersey called JerseyNet. In partnership with a New Jersey-based small business, we are responsible for designing and building deployable LTE systems across the state of New Jersey. This contract is under the auspices of the BTOP grant supported by FirstNet. We are well along the way in the successful execution of this big effort. There is no rest for the weary as I am keeping a keen eye on 2015 where we will soon announce some exciting new features and additions to our product portfolio.

 

ECN Magazine: Communication for First Responders

http://www.ecnmag.com/articles/2014/12/communication-first-responders

One of the well-acknowledged lessons from the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks was that federal, state, and local authorities had failed to prepare properly to support first responders with logistics, inter-agency coordination, and communication capabilities. One national initiative, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is building a nationwide public-safety communications network. The FCC has allocated 34 MHz of spectrum within the 700 MHz band and the low end of the 800 MHz band—22 MHz for broadband applications and 12 MHz for narrowband channels—primarily for voice communication.

 

FedTech: What FirstNet Means for Federal Emergency Responders

http://www.fedtechmagazine.com/article/2014/11/what-firstnet-means-federal-emergency-responders#F91vrfw1Ps0WY1w0.97

Federal first responders, including police, fire and emergency medical workers stationed at military bases, will benefit from a nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety. TJ Kennedy, general manager for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), said he’s seeing a lot of federal involvement in FirstNet in the western part of the country, where there’s a high concentration of federal firefighters, and agencies are tightly knitted into the local environment.

 

 

Social Media

Social media discussions focused on outreach being conducted on a local level by the states and territories, as well as FirstNet media coverage, jobs, the RFI, state consultations and recent speaking engagements.  A leading public safety opinion maker also developed a blog on the IG report (see below).  The FirstNet Twitter account now has more than 1,352 followers, and the LinkedIn account has more than 403 followers.  Our blog posts from this week can be found at: http://www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog.

 

Andrew Seybold Public Safety Advocate: FirstNet and the Inspector General’s Report

http://andrewseybold.com/3500-firstnet-and-the-inspector-generals-report

FirstNet is a startup “company” formed by Congress to build and maintain the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). The fifteen-member board of directors was appointed in the summer of 2012 and the first board meeting was held in September of that year. Since then, FirstNet has undergone many changes and a few “resets” along the way. Congress called for FirstNet to be an “Independent Authority” under the auspices of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is part of the U. S. Department of Commerce (DOC). Unfortunately, Congress failed to describe what it meant by “Independent Authority” so the meaning was up for interpretation and the NTIA decided that FirstNet would be neither Independent nor an Authority. Instead, it is treated as a government body and is encumbered with all the rules and regulations of a federal agency.