First Net

What is FirstNet?

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 created the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) as an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to provide emergency responders with the first high-speed wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. The FirstNet network will be a single, nationwide long term evolution (LTE) network that makes it easier for public safety users to communicate during emergencies and on the job every day. Think of the FirstNet network as a bigger, more reliable, secure and resilient wireless data network. This new network will provide faster access to information and wireless coverage where emergency and law enforcement personnel need it most.

After 9/11, the public safety community fought hard to fulfill the 9/11 Commission’s last standing recommendation and lobbied Congress to pass legislation establishing a dedicated, reliable network for advanced data communications nationwide.

The FirstNet network will enable faster, more informed and better coordinated response to incidents. Imagine a day when one interoperable communications network can be used to dispatch police, fire, and EMS personnel from different jurisdictions all at the same time. Law enforcement personnel using the FirstNet network will be able to share images, applications, and access to databases to have a common operational picture as incidents unfold.

When the FirstNet network launches, it will provide mission-critical, high-speed data services to supplement the voice capabilities of today’s land mobile radio (LMR) networks. Initially, the FirstNet network will be used for sending data, video, images and text. The FirstNet network will also carry location information and eventually support streaming video. In time, FirstNet plans to offer voice over LTE (VoLTE).

The first meeting was held Tuesday, May 6, 2014 in the Knox County Community Center, Education Hall in Edina, MO. Welcome was made by Bob Bloomberg with the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

There were the introductions of staff and attendees.

Mr. Bloomberg described what is FirstNet (overview of program, SLIGP, impact to public safety) via a PowerPoint presentation and internet links.  He didn’t know the cost for operation but hoped it would be less than existing cell phone service.  He felt the Federal Government would build and implement the system in the 2015 – 2017 timetable.

This meeting was to address the first 3 of 10 tasks, (Education and Outreach).

He gave an overview of next 4 meetings and stressed getting the right person from your agency to attend.

Planning Session 2, August 5, 2014 here in Edina, identified team representatives, finalized needs assessment processes and assigned sector tasks to team representatives.

The next meeting was held Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 6 PM in the Knox County Community Center in Edina.