Topic 6- First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)


First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)

One dynamic expansion of wireless infrastructure in recent years has been in the public safety sector. The program, called FirstNet,1 is an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)2 whose mission is to provide law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and other emergency service first responders with a nationwide, high-speed, broadband network dedicated to public safety. FirstNet was created by the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Section 6204. The goal of FirstNet was to build and connect public safety wireless infrastructure nationwide by 2022.

The program suffered initial bureaucratic setbacks but eventually got on track. A private-public partnership was established to deploy the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). “We have the people, the processes, and the infrastructure in place to ensure a successful public-private partnership to deploy the Network,” said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. “As an advocate and steward for public safety, it is our job to ensure the Network meets their needs and objectives. FirstNet stands ready for this awesome responsibility.”3 On March 28, 2017, the FirstNet board of directors authorized Mike Poth, its Chief Executive Officer, to proceed to award the contract to procure the NPSBN.4 On March 30, 2017, FirstNet formally announced its partnership with AT&T to build the NPSBN.5 Every state has vast areas that will require the development of new structures for wireless facilities, elevating the need for qualified professional wireless site acquisition and permitting services nationwide.

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