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Wednesday, April 01, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update - March 30, 2015

FirstNet News

·         The FirstNet Board committees met on 3/24 and the Board met on 3/25. Materials from these meetings are now posted on the FirstNet website: http://www.firstnet.gov/content/board-meeting-march-2015. The next Committee and Board meetings will be held on June 2-3 in San Diego, CA, in conjunction with the PSCR conference.

·         FirstNet recently posted an FAQ sheet regarding Use of State and Local Infrastructure, Rural Coverage, “Early Builders” and Pilots on its Resources webpage: http://www.firstnet.gov/sites/default/files/Use%20of%20local-state-infrastructure%20FAQs%20v1_0.pdf

·         The Consultation team conducted an initial consultation meeting with the District of Columbia on 3/26 with more than 45 public safety stakeholders in attendance and discussed the Navy Yard shooting, the inauguration, and the 2011 earthquake as use cases. We have held 18 initial state consultation meetings to date. 

·         Last week, we completed the final four monthly SPOC/SWIC calls with regions 1,2,3 & 10.  Discussions centered around the Second Notice and the agenda for the 2015 SPOC meeting to be held on April 14-15.  To date, 127 participants from 53 states and territories and seven members of the Tribal Working Group have confirmed their attendance for the meeting. 

·         Additionally, FirstNet participated in a National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) webinar discussing the Second Notice and data collection, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) State and Provincial Policing Conference and the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) Expo.

·         Next week, FirstNet will participate in the South Carolina Telecommunications Broadband Association Spring Convention.

·         We held the joint FirstNet/NTIA webinar on 3/23 with 54 states and territories to share final information on data collection elements, priorities and State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) Phase 2.  The data collection workbook was emailed to SPOCs following the webinar.

·         FirstNet publicly announced that the User Advocacy team had filled two regional outreach positions – Region 5 and Region 10.  Tim Pierce, who fills the Region 5 position, was the former State Point of Contact (SPOC)/Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) for Wisconsin.  Tim was on-boarded last week and Steve Noel, former Oregon SPOC/SWIC, will fill the Region 10 position when he officially joins FirstNet next month.  Please find more information on these two hires on the FirstNet Blog: http://firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog/firstnet-builds-regional-coordination-team

·         FirstNet’s Second Notice is in the Federal Register and is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/03/13/2015-05855/further-proposed-interpretations-of-parts-of-the-middle-class-tax-relief-and-job-creation-act-ofWritten comments may be submitted electronically through www.regulations.gov or by mail to the address provided in the notice.  Based on feedback and our desire to hear from key stakeholders the deadline for submitting comments is being extended from April 13, 2015 to April 28, 2015.  The new date is anticipated to be officially published in the Federal Register this week.  We have also posted an FAQ about the Second Notice on our website.

·         FirstNet has received completed consultation checklists from 49 of 56 states and territories.  Confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings are: South Dakota (4/1), Missouri (4/7), New York (4/20), North Carolina (4/23), South Carolina (4/30), West Virginia (5/5), Rhode Island (5/6), Louisiana (5/13), Arkansas (5/14), Virgin Islands (5/19), Maine (5/20), Idaho (5/21), New Hampshire (6/9), New Mexico (6/10), Ohio (6/11), Vermont (6/16), Kansas (6/17), Wisconsin (6/18), California (6/23-25), Illinois (7/14), Alabama (7/15), Georgia (7/21), Pennsylvania (8/4), American Samoa (8/10), Hawaii (8/12), Indiana (8/26) and New Jersey (9/3).

·         The consultation schedule and tracker is on the FirstNet website: http://firstnet.gov/consultation/meetings.

·         The next quarterly SPOC webinar will be held on Thursday, April 2 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time.  This meeting will provide additional focus on the Second Notice.  The link and call in number were sent out on March 16 to update your Outlook calendar appointment.

 

From the States and PSAC Organizations

·         Harlin McEwen had the opportunity to brief the FirstNet Board on PSAC activities during the Board meeting on 3/25.

·         The PSAC priority and preemption task team held a conference call last week and finished its review of the draft usage scenarios. Both the priority and preemption and public safety grade task teams will meet in Boulder, CO on April 7-8.

 

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 of FirstNet by the telecom and public safety trade publications this week, with the Board meeting being the focus.  There was also coverage of the SLIGP Phase 2 announcement.


FirstNet delays draft RFP, cites finance committee questions
http://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/story/firstnet-delays-draft-rfp-cites-finance-committee-questions/2015-03-25
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) this week said it would delay the release of a draft RFP due to questions that arose in its finance committee.  On Tuesday, four FirstNet committees met in separate sessions: governance and personnel; technology; outreach; and finance. Board members were expected to approve a complete draft RFP this week, but on Wednesday, the full board met and said it would delay a vote to issue the RFP until a later date.

FirstNet allows more time for public-notice responses, announces plans for Industry Day series

http://urgentcomm.com/ntiafirstnet/firstnet-allows-more-time-public-notice-responses-announces-plans-industry-day-series

FirstNet’s Acting Executive Director TJ Kennedy said the decision was based on input from multiple sources—many of whom spoke with FirstNet officials at IWCE—that indicated the April 13 deadline for responses to the second public notice would create logistical problems for them, particularly if statewide consensus on a position is needed. FirstNet will post a formal announcement of response extension in the Federal Register, Kennedy said.

 

NTIA releases second phase of planning grants as FirstNet identifies data for states to collect
http://urgentcomm.com/ntiafirstnet/ntia-releases-second-phase-planning-grants-firstnet-identifies-data-states-collect
States and territories can use $58 million in planning grants from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to gather data in their jurisdictions regarding their first responders’ needs for coverage, capacity and other key functionalities from FirstNet’s nationwide public-safety broadband network, NTIA and FirstNet announced this week.  NTIA yesterday announced that it would release the second phase of funding from the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP). The first phase—also totaling about $58 million—was released in 2013 to help states fund outreach initiatives and other efforts to prepare for initial consultations with FirstNet.

Web and Social Media

Social media engagements about FirstNet addressed consultation, the SLIGP grant announcement, the Board Meeting as well as local outreach efforts in the states and territories. Notably, we continue to see many states and territories use social media for outreach.  The FirstNet Twitter account has grown to over 1,934 followers; LinkedIn 622; Google+ 32; and YouTube has 97 subscribers.


Monday, March 23, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update - March 23, 2015

FirstNet News

·      Several members of the FirstNet team attended the 2015 International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) this past week in Las Vegas, Nevada, as did many of the state single points of contact (SPOC) and members of their teams.  The conference was a great opportunity for FirstNet, through 13 FirstNet related sessions, to hear about activities and highlight progress made to the seven-thousand public and private sector attendees.  For more information visit our blog at http://firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog/coordination-and-education-iwce-2015     
 

·         FirstNet held monthly SPOC/Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) calls with all ten regions reaching 83 representatives from 43 states and territories.  The discussion included a high level overview of the second public notice, the March 23rd FirstNet/NTIA webinar, which will cover data collection and SLIGP Phase 2 funding, and the draft agenda for the 2015 SPOC Meeting to be held April 14-15.  In addition to the link to respond to the notice on our website  additional information is available here:   FAQ about the Second Notice     

 

·         NTIA recently released SLIGP metrics and milestones for Q6, quarter ending December 31, 2014, available at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/publications/sligp_q6_metrics_for_website.pdf 

·         53 states and territories have registered for the 2015 SPOC Meeting in Reston April 14-15.  Following our discussions during the monthly calls, the agenda is nearing finalization.  Members of the PSAC Tribal Working Group will be present for a joint session to discuss effective tribal engagement during this workshop.  The special room rate for the Reston Hyatt  ends today, March 23.

·         This week FirstNet will be participating in the March 24 NASCIO Broadband and Telecommunications Committee Webinar, the March 27 IACP State and Provincial Policing Conference in  Alexandria, VA, and  the March 27 Competitive Carriers Association Expo in Atlanta, GA.

·         The consultation team conducted the 17th initial consultation meeting in Nebraska last week with more than 120 public safety stakeholders on hand, including Nebraska Lt. Gov. Mike Foley.  This week FirstNet staff will conduct the Washington DC initial consultation meeting on March 26.

 

·         To date, FirstNet has received 49 of 56 completed consultation checklists.  Confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings are: Washington DC (3/26), South Dakota (4/1), Missouri (4/7), New York (4/20), North Carolina (4/23), South Carolina (4/30), West Virginia (5/5), Arkansas (5/14), Louisiana (5/15), Virgin Islands (5/19), Maine (5/20), Idaho (5/21), New Hampshire (6/9), New Mexico (6/10), Ohio (6/11), Vermont (6/16), Kansas (6/17), Wisconsin (6/18), California (6/23-25), Illinois (7/14), Alabama (7/15), Georgia (7/21), Tennessee (7/23)Pennsylvania (8/4), Hawaii (8/12), Indiana (8/26), and New Jersey (9/3).

 

·         The FirstNet consultation tracker is available via the website link: http://firstnet.gov/consultation/meetings

 

·         This week marks the next set of FirstNet Board and Committee meetings. On March 24, 2015 there will be sequential meetings between 9:00 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time of FirstNet's four Board Committees: (1) Governance and Personnel; (2) Technology; (3) Outreach; and (4) Finance.  The full FirstNet Board will hold a meeting on March 25, 2015 between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.   All meetings will be held at the Department of Commerce headquarters building in Washington, DC, as well as being webcast.  Additional information is available at this link: FirstNet Board

·         The next quarterly SPOC webinar will be held on Thursday, April 2 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time.  This webinar, which will also include the Public Safety Advisory Committee and Tribal Working Group (TWG) members, will focus on follow up from the March Board meetings.  The link and call in number should be on your Outlook calendar now.

·         Today, Tim Pierce begins with FirstNet as the Region 5 Lead.  In this capacity, Tim will serve as FirstNet’s single point of contact to and lead FirstNet’s outreach and consultation activities with the public safety community in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  Tim comes from the state of Wisconsin where he was the SPOC and SWIC.  He has also served as a Communications Unit Leader (COML) with the Wisconsin Statewide Incident Management Team as well as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician (EMT).

·         The next monthly TWG teleconference will be held on Tuesday, April 7 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT.  To be discussed will be the April 1 South Dakota state consultation and April 14-15 2015 National SPOC Meeting in Reston, VA.

·         Chris Eck, FirstNet Federal Preservation Officer (FPO), is endeavoring to attend the To Bridge a Gap Meeting, this year being hosted by the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.  This annual event is an official government-to-government interaction between the Forest Service and tribal nations.

From the States and PSAC Organizations

 

·            PSAC member Charlie Sasser presented on FirstNet, the PSAC and SAFECOM (view the SAFECOM in 100 seconds video) at the National Association of State Technology Directors (NASTD) southern region meeting on March 10. Meeting attendees included state information technology directors and technology hardware, software and services vendors from Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

 

 

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 was heavy this past week, with several trade publications covering the IWCE conference (TRDaily, Mission Critical, Urgent Communications, RCR Wireless).  There were also local stories related to our consultation efforts in the states and territories.


IWCE 2015: Lessons learned from FirstNet early builders
http://www.rcrwireless.com/20150320/network-infrastructure/lte/iwce-2015-lessons-learned-from-firstnet-early-builders-tag6
The early pioneers in public safety LTE broadband shared some of their experiences in a panel discussion at IWCE 2015, and some of their pain points – probably unsurprisingly – sounded like those of commercial mobile operators, including opposition to tower siting impacting deployment timelines and anxiety from some first responders about exposure to radio frequencies from new sites.

Local officials briefed about FirstNet
http://www.leavenworthtimes.com/article/20150319/NEWS/150319251
After a major disaster, cellphone networks can become overloaded. And this can pose a problem for emergency responders who use these systems. That's why there is an effort to create a nationwide wireless broadband network exclusively for public safety personnel, according to Derek Voorhis, public safety broadband outreach coordinator for the state of Kansas.

State looks to FirstNet to build, operate network committed to public safety
http://www.kearneyhub.com/news/local/state-looks-to-firstnet-to-build-operate-network-committed-to/article_2b1c1f6a-ce57-11e4-8771-e766f234d962.html
Nebraska Lt. Gov. Mike Foley spoke to many of the state’s emergency responders during the first FirstNet public safety network consultation meeting Wednesday in Kearney. As an initiative from the federal government, FirstNet’s mission is to build, operate and maintain the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety, according to its website. About 100 public safety officials from across the state met with representatives from FirstNet Wednesday and today to discuss issues facing their departments, particularly in communication.

Web and Social Media
Social media discussions about FirstNet focused on IWCE and consultation, as well as local outreach efforts in the states and territories. We posted a blog about the IWCE keynote presentation which included video highlights from the presentation: 
http://firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog/coordination-and-education-iwce-2015 . In addition, our  blog on the Identity, Credential, & Access Management (ICAM) report was popular over social media and cited in some news articles, including this Fierce Mobile Government report: http://www.fiercemobilegovernment.com/story/authorized-access-firstnet-communications-network-devices-key-during-develo/2015-03-18 ;  The FirstNet Twitter account has grown to over 1,909 followers; LinkedIn 603; Google+ 30; and YouTube has 95 subscribers.


Monday, March 16, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update - March 16, 2015

FirstNet News

·         FirstNet’s Second Notice has been published in the Federal Register and is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/03/13/2015-05855/further-proposed-interpretations-of-parts-of-the-middle-class-tax-relief-and-job-creation-act-ofWritten comments may be submitted electronically through www.regulations.gov or by mail to the address provided in the notice.  The deadline for submitting comments is April 13, 2015.  We have posted an FAQ about the Second Notice on our website.

·         We conducted the initial consultation meeting with Massachusetts on 3/12 with more than 45 public safety stakeholders on hand, including nearby states (ME/NY/NH).  We have held 16 consultation meetings with more than 1,150 total stakeholders. 

·         Last week, FirstNet participated in the National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional Cities Conference, the APCO Emerging Technology Forum, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) Homeland Security, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1802 Committee meeting, and the Colorado Statewide Radio Summit.

·         FirstNet is looking forward to the annual IWCE conference and exhibit this week in Las Vegas.  Senior staff and Board members will be participating on a number of panel sessions, including: legal and regulatory issues, cybersecurity, early builders, FirstNet integration, NG9-1-1 and public/private partnerships.

·         FirstNet, in coordination with the NTIA State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) Team, will host the 2015 SPOC Meeting on April 14-15, 2015 in Reston, VA.  This two day meeting will be designed to discuss the FirstNet and SLIGP updates, solicit state and territory feedback on FirstNet planning activities, and provide a forum to share successes and lessons learned on FirstNet planning efforts.  The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Reston located at 1800 Presidents Street, Reston, VA.  A block of hotel rooms has been reserved at the Hyatt.  If you are interested in attending the 2015 SPOC Meeting, please RSVP to outreach@firstnet.gov. Additionally, you can reserve your hotel room by March 16 with the room block (government rate of $229/night) online at https://resweb.passkey.com/go/TheEventPlanningGroup  

·         In coordination with the NTIA State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) team, we are preparing for a 3/23 webinar for FirstNet to release the final data collection elements needed to inform FirstNet’s acquisition process and state plans and NTIA to discuss the process to prepare your grants for SLIGP Phase 2.  To continue with messaging and education about the data collection, FirstNet is developing an outreach package to include a SPOC Letter, Data Collection Workbook, Slick Sheet, and Webinar Presentation.

·         FirstNet has received completed consultation checklists from 48 of 56 states and territories.  Confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings are: Nebraska (3/18-3/19), Washington DC (3/26), South Dakota (4/1), Missouri (4/7), New York (4/20), North Carolina (4/23), South Carolina (4/30), West Virginia (5/5), Rhode Island (5/6), Arkansas (5/14), Virgin Islands (5/19), Maine (5/20), Idaho (5/21), New Hampshire (6/9), New Mexico (6/10), Ohio (6/11), Vermont (6/16), Kansas (6/17), Wisconsin (6/18), California (6/23-25), Illinois (7/14), Alabama (7/15), Georgia (7/21), Pennsylvania (8/4), Hawaii (8/12), Indiana (8/26) and New Jersey (9/3).

·         The consultation schedule and tracker is on the FirstNet website: http://firstnet.gov/consultation/meetings.

·         FirstNet will hold March regional SPOC/SWIC calls this week:  Monday, March 16, Regions 5 & 9; Wednesday, March 18, Regions 4, 6, 7 & 8; Thursday, March 19, Regions 1, 2 & 10, and Friday, March 20, Region 3.  We’ll be including resources to highlight the second Public Notice for Comment, discuss the 3/23 webinar on data collection, and solicit your feedback on the draft agenda for the upcoming 2015 SPOC Meeting.

·         The Federal Agency Point of Contact call will occur on Tuesday, March 17.  This is the inaugural call for the group.

·         The next FirstNet Board and Committee meetings will be March 24-25 at the Department of Commerce headquarters building in Washington, DC; the meetings will also be webcast.    These meetings are open to the public and press on a first-come, first-served basis. Space is limited. In order to get an accurate headcount, all expected attendees are asked to provide notice of intent to attend by sending an email to BoardRSVP@firstnet.gov.  Additional information is available at http://firstnet.gov/content/board-meeting-march-2015.

·         The next quarterly SPOC webinar will be held on Thursday, April 2 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time.  This meeting will focus on follow up from the March Board meetings.  The link and call in number will be sent out soon to update your Outlook calendar appointment.

 

From the States and PSAC Organizations

·         The PSAC Executive Committee met via conference call on 3/9 and discussed the status of the working groups, the priority and preemption taskings, upcoming PSAC member appointments for the February 2015-2017 term and discussed the PSAC meeting schedule for the remainder of 2015.

·         The PSAC priority and preemption and public safety grade task teams held conference calls last week. The priority and preemption task team continued its review of the draft usage scenarios and the public safety grade task team began reviewing the draft critical infrastructure definitions.

·         The Tribal Working Group (TWG) sent its initial recommendations for tribal outreach, education, and inclusive consultation strategies to the PSAC Executive Committee on 3/4; the recommendations were sent to FirstNet on 3/15.

 

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 on FirstNet largely focused on the release of the Second Public Notice and Chair Swenson’s testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on March 11.  The team is developing a frequently asked question document in response to some of the key questions from the hearing to post on our website. 

 

FCW: Hiring, Procurement Are Pain Points for FirstNet

http://fcw.com/articles/2015/03/11/firstnet-pain-points.aspx

The development of a nationwide broadband network for first responders is being hindered by cumbersome procurement rules and delays in hiring, said Sue Swenson, chairwoman of FirstNet, the federal entity tasked with building the network. FirstNet and its parent agency, the Commerce Department, have twice sought rapid hiring authority from the Office of Personnel Management, according to Swenson's testimony during a March 11 hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. They were turned down once and are awaiting a reply to their second request, which was made in August 2014. Swenson testified that it can take up to nine months to hire new staff, and the agency currently has just over 100 dedicated employees.

 

Radio Resource: FirstNet: $100M Cap on Administrative Expenses is Too Low

http://www.rrmediagroup.com/newsArticle.cfm?news_id=11811

In its annual report to Congress for the fiscal year ending September 2014, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) said the amount it is limited to spend on administrative expenses — $100 million — during the first 10 years of operation may limit its flexibility to grow and adapt as needed and may introduce risks to the program. “After significant financial modeling, this cap has been identified as a future barrier for FirstNet progress because it is projected to limit administrative costs to impractical levels,” the report said. As of Sept. 30, FirstNet paid $8.5 million in administrative expenses subject to the limitation.

 

Urgent Communications: FirstNet’s Swenson to Congress: Final RFP Due This Year, ‘We Should Be Shot’ If 2022 Goal Not Met

http://urgentcomm.com/ntiafirstnet/firstnet-s-swenson-congress-final-rfp-due-year-we-should-be-shot-if-2022-goal-not-met

FirstNet Chairwoman Sue Swenson testifies before the Senate Commerce Committee that FirstNet plans to issue its final request for proposal (RFP) by the end of this year and that “we should be shot” if the much-anticipated nationwide broadband network for first responders is not operational by 2022.

 

Fierce Mobile Government: Swenson: GAO's FirstNet Cost 'Built on Assumptions'; Board Confident in Own Estimate

http://www.fiercemobilegovernment.com/story/swenson-gaos-firstnet-cost-estimates-built-assumptions-says-board-confident/2015-03-11

While Congress has approved $7 billion for an independent government board to build and operate a nationwide, wireless communications network for first responders, the Government Accountability Office pegs the price tag anywhere from a low of $12 billion to as high as $47 billion during the first decade. "I think what's important to understand about the GAO report is that the information that's in there is built on a lot of assumptions," said Susan Swenson, chair of the First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, during a March 11 hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. In prepared testimony, Mark Goldstein, GAO's director of physical infrastructure, said those cost estimates come from a variety of entities that use different assumptions about the network's scope.

 

Fiscal Times: Another Government Project Is Turning into an Expensive IT Nightmare

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2015/03/11/Another-Government-Project-Turning-Expensive-IT-Nightmare

The federal government has another multibillion-dollar IT mess on its hands. In 2012, the government began work on a massive, nationwide public safety wireless broadband network intended to help police, firefighters and other first responders communicate quickly in the event of major disasters. Three years later, lawmakers and auditors are questioning whether that First Responder Network, or FirstNet, will ever actually get off the ground.

 

GAO: Public Safety Communications: Preliminary Information on FirstNet's Efforts to Establish a Nationwide Broadband Network (GAO-15-380T: Published: Mar 11, 2015)

http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-380T

GAO's ongoing work has found that the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) has made progress carrying out the responsibilities established in the 2012 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (the 2012 act) but lacks certain elements of effective internal controls. FirstNet has made progress establishing an organizational structure, planning the nationwide public-safety broadband network, and consulting with stakeholders. Nevertheless, stakeholders GAO contacted cited upcoming issues, such as deciding the level of network coverage, which will be difficult for FirstNet to address as it continues to carry out its responsibilities. With respect to internal controls, FirstNet has begun establishing policies and practices consistent with federal standards, but it has not fully assessed its risks or established Standards of Conduct . Given that FirstNet faces a multitude of risks to achieve its complex objectives, fully assessing risks would help FirstNet respond to risks in a proactive way. Developing standards of conduct would help FirstNet address conduct and performance issues in a timely manner.

 

International Association of Fire Chiefs: IAFC President: FirstNet is Critically Important to Public Safety

http://www.iafc.org/Media/articlePR.cfm?ItemNumber=8299

G. Keith Bryant, IAFC president and chairman of the board, today testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation that FirstNet’s goal of building a nationwide public-safety broadband network to meet first responders’ needs is critically important for public safety. He reaffirmed the IAFC’s belief that FirstNet “is developing the leadership, staff and support from states, public safety and other key stakeholders required to make the network a reality.”

 

Politico: Morning Tech: Senate Commerce Digs in on FirstNet

http://www.politico.com/morningtech/0315/morningtech17426.html

Chairman John Thune is set this morning to gavel in his committee's first look at FirstNet, the government's forthcoming $7 billion public-safety wireless network, and he’ll open by questioning the Commerce Department’s role in helping to stand up the system. “The department should ask itself whether it is being the best partner it can be to FirstNet and facilitating development of a public safety network that makes us all more secure,” Thune intends to say in his opening statement, shared early with Tony. He'll note there’s “some risk” in setting up FirstNet under the agency as an “independent authority.” And the senator will cite a recent unnamed report that compares FirstNet to HealthCare.gov. Per Thune's remarks, he'll note the “challenge of setting up [FirstNet] is arguably many times greater” than the troubled health care portal. “I strongly encourage the department to do everything it can to learn from the many mistakes of HealthCare.gov," he'll add.

 

C-SPAN: National Wireless Public Safety Network

http://www.c-span.org/video/?324780-1/hearing-public-safety-broadband-network-progress

Representatives of federal agencies and first responder groups testified hearing on progress made toward establishing FirstNet, which aims to be the first nationwide wireless broadband network for public safety.

 

YouTube: Wicker Questions Administration Officials on FirstNet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rh7b75ikzE&feature=youtu.be&noredirect=1

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., questions Obama Administration officials about their ongoing problems to implement a public safety wireless broadband network in Mississippi.

 

FIRSTNET ON ITS FUTURE: WE GOT THIS – Politico (March 12, 2015)

FirstNet describes its work to modernize first responders’ communications as a “startup,” and to that end, it’s experienced its share of growing pains. Lawmakers at a hearing Wednesday expressed dismay that FirstNet has been caught up in the federal government’s slow hiring process, which delays key staff additions — and watchdogs, including the Government Accountability Office, expressed their concerns about its budget. But Sue Swenson, the board’s chairwoman, said in testimony and after the hearing she’s confident the board can get the job done. I think we can solve some of these issues -- like I said, I think it’s really important we control our own destiny,” she told Tony with respect to fixing FirstNet’s hiring woes. “We’re going to work with Commerce; if that doesn’t work, we’ll go back to Congress.” Earlier in the day, Swenson took care to stress it is too soon to say much more about the $7 billion Congress allocated to the network in 2012. “I believe the financial model is solid,” Swenson said, adding that “we won’t know the answer to that” until the board issues its draft RFP (likely by month’s end) and solicits feedback on how to build and run the network.

 

Web and Social Media

Social media discussions about FirstNet focused on consultation, the Second Public Notice, and the hearing.  FirstNet blogs this week focused on Wyoming consultation, Chair Swenson’s testimony from the hearing, and release of the annual report: http://www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog.  The annual report blog was cited in several news articles.  The FirstNet Twitter account has grown to 1,855 followers; LinkedIn 590; Google+ 29; and YouTube has 95 subscribers. 


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update - March 9, 2015

FirstNet News

·         Today the FirstNet Board approved for release a second Public Notice (Second Notice) for comment. The primary purpose of this Second Notice is to seek public comment on key interpretations of the Act that impact operational and economic issues regarding the planning, deployment, operation, and sustainability of the NPSBN.  Once the Second Notice is posted in the Federal Register, written comments may be submitted electronically within 30 days to www.regulations.gov or by mail to the address listed in the notice.  We have posted an FAQ about the Second Notice on our website.

·         Last week, FirstNet participated in a California Town Hall, the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT) and First Responder Network Security Summit, the Pennsylvania Southcentral Regional meeting, the National Fire Protection Association Board meeting and the Fraternal Order of Police Board meeting.

·         This week, FirstNet will be participating in the Massachusetts initial consultation meeting, the National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional Cities Conference, the APCO Emerging Technology Forum, the Armed Forces Communications 
and Electronics Association (
AFCEA) Homeland Security, and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1802 Committee meeting.

·         FirstNet is looking forward to the annual IWCE conference and exhibit next week in Las Vegas.  Senior staff and Board members will be participating on a number of panel sessions, including: legal and regulatory issues, cybersecurity, early builders, FirstNet integration, NG9-1-1 and public/private partnerships.

·         FirstNet, in coordination with the NTIA State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) Team, will host the 2015 SPOC Meeting on April 14-15, 2015 in Reston, VA.  This two day meeting will be designed to discuss the FirstNet and SLIGP updates, solicit state and territory feedback on FirstNet planning activities, and provide a forum to share successes and lessons learned on FirstNet planning efforts.  The meeting will be held at the Hyatt Regency Reston located at 1800 Presidents Street, Reston, VA.  A block of hotel rooms has been reserved at the Hyatt.  If you are interested in attending the SPOC Meeting, please RSVP to outreach@firstnet.gov. Additionally, you can reserve your hotel room with the room block (government rate of $229/night) online at https://resweb.passkey.com/go/TheEventPlanningGroup  

·         Last week, Dave Buchanan posted a blog regarding the Delaware consultation meeting; you can review the blog at http://firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog/delaware-state-consultation. The 3/4 consultation meeting with the state of Arkansas was cancelled by Arkansas due to inclement weather and will be rescheduled for April. We have held 15 consultation meetings thus far with more than 1,100 total stakeholders. 

·         Confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings are: Nebraska (3/18-3/19), Washington DC (3/26), South Dakota (4/1), Missouri (4/7), New York (4/20), North Carolina (4/23), South Carolina (4/30), West Virginia (5/5), Arkansas (5/14), Virgin Islands (5/19), Maine (5/20), Idaho (5/21), New Hampshire (6/9), New Mexico (6/10), Ohio (6/11), Vermont (6/16), Kansas (6/17), Wisconsin (6/18), California (6/23-25), Illinois (7/14), Alabama (7/15), Georgia (7/21), Pennsylvania (8/4), Hawaii (8/12), Indiana (8/26) and New Jersey (9/3).

·         To date, FirstNet has received completed consultation checklists from 48 of 56 states and territories: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

·         The consultation schedule and tracker is on the FirstNet website: http://firstnet.gov/consultation/meetings.

·         The next FirstNet Board and Committee meetings will be March 24-25 at the Department of Commerce headquarters building in Washington, DC.  More information regarding registration and the agenda will be forthcoming. 

·         Federal Outreach is hiring an Emergency Management Specialist, ZP-0089-IV.  The announcements opened Friday, March 6, 2015 and will close Friday, March 13, 2015.  This is a 2 year term appointment that may be extended to 4 years.    https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/396817500?share=email

·         The next quarterly SPOC webinar will be held on Thursday, April 2 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm Eastern Daylight Time.  This meeting will focus on follow up from the March Board meetings.  The link and call in number will be sent out soon to update your Outlook calendar appointment.

 

From the States and PSAC Organizations

·         The Pennsylvania (PA)-FirstNet team held its third of nine regional meetings on March 6 in Shippensburg, PA to continue education on FirstNet and begin promoting data gathering.  Agenda items included a FirstNet and PA-FirstNet overview and update, an LTE overview, a presentation by Texas on the benefits of public safety broadband communications, and an overview of the planned data gathering activities/surveys.  The PA-FirstNet team plans to hold the remaining regional meetings through May and will highlight the findings from the requirements gathering activities at a statewide conference.  Additional information about PA-FirstNet is available at https://pafirstnet.com/, including a PA-FirstNet Outreach and Education Virtual Briefing video.

·         In response to a request from the PSAC, the Tribal Working Group (TWG) met via teleconference last week to finalize recommendations regarding FirstNet tribal outreach, education, and inclusive consultation strategies.  The group also expressed interest in continuing to offer advice and assistance. 

·         The PSAC priority and preemption task team had a call on 3/4 to discuss the draft usage scenarios.  Staff also held a call with the PSAC EC on user equipment on 3/4.  

·         Dates were set for the in person priority and preemption and public safety grade task team meetings in Boulder, CO for 4/7-8. 

 

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 on FirstNet included reports on the Special Board meeting and Public Notice; next week’s Senate hearing; and consultation.  Key stories from this week include: 

 

Fierce Mobile Government: FirstNet Meets with Tribal Representatives as Part of Effort to Build Public Safety, Wireless Network

http://www.fiercemobilegovernment.com/story/firstnet-meets-tribal-representatives-part-effort-build-public-safety-wirel/2015-03-04

Early last week, the independent government board tasked with overseeing development of a nationwide, wireless broadband public safety network, met with a half dozen members of tribal organizations, one of the stakeholder groups that's helping develop the communications system. According to a recent blog post from the First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, members of the group's public safety advisory committee met with the designated Tribal Working Group in Washington, D.C., Feb. 22.

 

Urgent Communications: FirstNet Board to Conduct Special Meeting, Swenson to Testify Before Congress Next Week

http://urgentcomm.com/ntiafirstnet/firstnet-board-conduct-special-meeting-swenson-testify-congress-next-week

FirstNet board members will consider issuing a second public notice on key policy questions during a special board meeting on Monday, and FirstNet Chairwoman Sue Swenson is slated to testify next Wednesday as part of the Senate Commerce Committee’s first oversight hearing about the three-year-old organization.

 

The Hill: Overnight Tech: Senate Plans FirstNet Hearing

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/overnights/234506-overnight-tech-new-patent-bill-gets-cold-shoulder

The Senate Commerce Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the FCC's FirstNet program for first responders on the morning of March 11, Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) announced on Tuesday. FirstNet Chairwoman Susan Swenson is slated to testify, as is Commerce Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews, the Commerce Department's inspector general and the Government Accountability Office's physical infrastructure director Mark Goldstein.

 

CalOES News: Cal OES Shares the Future of Public Safety Communications in the Capital of Silicon Valley

https://caloesnewsroom.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/cal-oes-shares-the-future-of-public-safety-communications-in-the-capital-of-silicon-valley/

Wireless broadband data applications enable exciting new possibilities for improving the operations and effectiveness of California public safety activities in life changing – and lifesaving – ways. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Public Safety Communications continues to lead informational meetings to prepare California’s public safety community for the first Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) and First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) deployment in the Golden State.

 

NPSTC Blog: FirstNet to Look at Public Safety Entity Definition in Further Notice

http://blog.npstc.org/2015/02/28/firstnet-to-look-at-public-safety-entity-definition-in-further-notice/

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) plans to issue another public notice further exploring issues related the definition of public safety entity, a FirstNet official said today at the National Emergency Number Association’s 911 Goes to Washington event.  The definition of public safety entity was an issue that drew many comments in a public notice issued by FirstNet last September (TRDaily, Sept. 17, 2014). The public notice sought comment on preliminary interpretations and other issues regarding FirstNet’s authority under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. Vicki Lee, FirstNet’s association manager, said at today’s event that FirstNet plans to issue a public notice that will solely further explore issues and interpretations related to the definition of public safety entity. She said she did not know when the public notice would be released.

 

Web and Social Media

Three new web pages have been added to the site to provide more information and updates on FirstNet activities in key areas:  

·     Speakers Request:  Aims to help FirstNet manage the large quantity of speaker requests coming via an online form  http://firstnet.gov/contact/speaker-request  

·     Environmental:  Provides updates and resources related to FirstNet’s Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS): http://firstnet.gov/about/peis

·     Land Mobile Radio:  Addresses the expected continued use of LMR technology upon launch of the NPSNB: http://firstnet.gov/network/lmr

 

Social media discussions about FirstNet focused on consultation and outreach developments in the states and territories, as well as the upcoming board meetings and hearing.  Washington SPOC Bill Schrier’s blog on FirstNet received considerable attention on Twitter (posted below).   FirstNet blogs this week focused on consultation, a recap of the first PSAC TWG meeting, and new additions to the technical team in Boulder:  http://www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog.  The FirstNet Twitter account continues to grow steadily, with more than 1,812 followers – including many public safety stakeholders; LinkedIn 560; Google+ 28; and YouTube has 92 subscribers. 

 

The Chief Seattle Geek Blog: Will FirstNet Become the Next Healthcare.gov?

https://schrier.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/will-firstnet-become-the-next-healthcare-gov/

On October 1, 2013, the website healthcare.gov opened for business.  This website was the centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA” commonly known as “Obamacare”).  ACA is one of the signature achievements of President Barack Obama.  Certainly the core of Obamacare would have the latest in innovative technology, interactivity and customer experience, right? Healthcare.gov’s debut was a bomb. But then healthcare.gov was resurrected.  Through an extraordinary effort the website was rapidly fixed and rebuilt by a top-notch team who were freed from most of the stultifying bureaucracy and regulations of the Federal Government. Today another signature achievement of the Obama Administration – the First Responder Network Authority – appears headed down a path similar to the original healthcare.gov.  


Monday, March 02, 2015

FirstNet SPOC Weekly Update - March 2, 2015

FirstNet News

·         FirstNet has launched two new webpages: one for speaker requests and one on the programmatic environmental impact statements. Going forward, please use the speaker request form to request FirstNet presentations at your meetings and conferences.

·         The User Advocacy team conducted the Wyoming initial consultation meeting on February 25.

·         FirstNet completed the February regional SPOC calls with 46 states and territories participating. Discussion has focused on draft data collection activities as well as updates on federal consultation and the upcoming release of the draft RFP and a second public notice. 

·         We conducted tribal outreach, including presentations at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) Executive Council Winter Session (ECWS), the Native American Infrastructure Association (NAIA), and Oglala Sioux Tribe, among others. 

·         Federal outreach included a meeting with a cross-section of Department of Justice (DOJ) technicians and operational managers responsible for communications capabilities.  Overall, the FirstNet update was provided with a very high level of interest in the more technical discussions and background provided by CTO.  We participated in a White House working session hosted by DOJ on the proposed structure for the new body camera grant program and attended the ECPC executive committee meeting.

·         Last week, FirstNet also participated in National Emergency Number Association’s (NENA) 9-1-1 Goes to Washington, the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters/Black Chief Officers Committee (BCOC), the NATE Unite 2015 Conference and Exposition, the National States Informational Geographic Council Conference, the Region V Pre-Consultation Meeting and the IACP State Association of Chiefs and Mid-Sized Cities Combined Conference.

·         This week, FirstNet will be participating in a California Town Hall, the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT) and First Responder Network Security Summit, the Arkansas consultation meeting, the Pennsylvania Southcentral Regional meeting, the National Fire Protection Association Board meeting and the Fraternal Order of Police Board meeting.

·        Joe Martinet joined the FirstNet team as the Director of Devices. He brings more than 15 years of experience in the cellular and satellite telecommunications device development and operations fields. Joe is a graduate of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL with a BSEE. Highlights of his time in the private sector include:

o   Technical Director at LightSquared for the first data devices that combined the terrestrial LTE standard and EGAL satellite Qualcomm technologies.

o   Test Director at TerreStar for the successful completion of the first ever satellite VoIP call over GMR1 3G (GSM based) technologies utilizing a standard size smartphone.

o   While at Sprint/Nextel, Joe managed the development and launch of the first ever handsets combining Motorola iDEN PTT with Qualcomm CDMA data and voice technologies.

o   Joe also was a Systems Performance Supervisor and RF Operations Manager earlier in his career at Nextel in Chicago.

·         The consultation schedule and tracker is now on the FirstNet website: http://firstnet.gov/consultation/meetings.

·         Confirmed upcoming initial consultation meetings are: Arkansas (3/4), Massachusetts (3/12), Nebraska (3/18-3/19), Washington DC (3/26), South Dakota (4/1), Missouri (4/7), New York (4/20), North Carolina (4/23), South Carolina (4/30), West Virginia (5/5), Virgin Islands (5/19), Maine (5/20), Idaho (5/21), New Hampshire (6/9), Ohio (6/11), Vermont (6/16), Kansas (6/17), Wisconsin (6/18), California (6/23-25), Illinois (7/14), Alabama (7/15), Georgia (7/21), Pennsylvania (8/4), Hawaii (8/12), Indiana (8/26) and New Jersey (9/3).

·         To date, FirstNet has received completed consultation checklists from 47 of 56 states and territories: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.

·         The next FirstNet Board and Committee meetings will be March 24-25 at the Department of Commerce headquarters building in Washington, DC.  More information regarding registration and the agenda will be forthcoming.

 

From the States and PSAC Organizations

·         We held kick off calls for the PSAC priority and preemption and public safety grade task teams on 2/26 and 2/27.

·         The PSAC organizations are in the process of providing their recommendations to FirstNet for PSAC representation for the February 2015-2017 term.

 

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 was moderate compared to previous weeks, and the FirstNet topics included public notice plans and the three year anniversary of FirstNet being signed into law.  Key stories from this week include: 

Urgent Communications: Three Years After Its Creation, It Is Time for FirstNet to Begin Making Key Decisions

http://urgentcomm.com/blog/three-years-after-its-creation-it-time-firstnet-begin-making-key-decisions

Three years after being established by Congress, FirstNet has not made as much deployment progress as many public-safety and industry officials had hoped. However, most of the main components appear to be in place, so 2015 should see the FirstNet board make key decisions about the much-anticipated nationwide broadband network for first responders.


TR Daily: FirstNet to Look at Public Safety Entity Definition in Further Notice

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) plans to issue another public notice further exploring issues related the definition of public safety entity, a FirstNet official said today at the National Emergency Number Association’s 911 Goes to Washington event.  Vicki Lee, FirstNet’s association manager, said at today’s event that FirstNet plans to issue a public notice that will solely further explore issues and interpretations related to the definition of public safety entity. She said she did not know when the public notice would be released. Regarding a potential stand-alone public notice on the definition of public safety entity, FirstNet spokesman Ryan Oremland told TRDaily later today that it was a "key issue that is under consideration for future public notices.  But there are many factors that will shape the final 'when' and 'what', including FirstNet Board input and approval.”  He also noted that the definition of public safety entity generated the most comments of any issue in response to the first public notice, with 80% of entities mentioning it.


EMS World: Update on the Progress of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)

http://www.emsworld.com/article/12047258/update-on-the-progress-of-the-first-responder-network-authority-firstnet

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) represents a sea-change in the way EMS and other public safety entities communicate with one another. And that improved interoperability will lead to faster, more efficient patient care. In the “How FirstNet Can Help EMS Provide Better Patient Care” webinar, hosted Thursday, February 19, by NHTSA’s Office of EMS (OEMS) as part of its ongoing EMS Focus: A Collaborative Federal Webinar Series, FirstNet experts discussed why FirstNet’s effort to build a public safety broadband network is important to EMS systems across the nation. The webinar featured presentations by Kevin McGinnis, a FirstNet Board member and Amanda Hilliard, director of outreach for FirstNet. McGinnis currently heads Maine’s North East Mobile Health Services and is a nationally recognized advocate for broadband communications within the EMS community.

 

 

Social Media

Social media discussions about FirstNet focused on the consultation and outreach, and how FirstNet can help improve EMS operations. We posted a couple blogs this past week on consultation efforts. Additional blogs can be found here: http://www.firstnet.gov/newsroom/blog. The FirstNet Twitter account continues to grow steadily, with more than 1,757 followers; LinkedIn 546; Google+ 28; and YouTube has 91 subscribers. 

 

The Myers Model Blog: FirstNet -- Why is Net Neutrality and Title II important to Public Safety Broadband?

http://advancingtelecom.blogspot.com/2015/02/firstnet-why-is-net-neutrality-and.html

Why would FirstNet be interested in Title II and Net Neutrality? The basis for understanding is quite simple: Public Safety is the catalyst and anchor tenant for a new hardened infrastructure that can support broadband to everyone. Commercial broadband access is just a derivative of the hardened requirements. FirstNet needs all the partners it can gather, but they also need control of its implementation, at least to a point where the baseline, hardened, protected infrastructure is built and implemented and everyone else's needs are applications that ride within it.