Comments Submitted on FirstNet Architecture, FirstNet Board Meeting Schedule Announced, NTIA Creates Office of Public Safety Communications
Over 130 parties submitted comments in response to the NTIA’s Notice of Inquiry (NOI) concerning the conceptual network architecture of FirstNet that was presented at the initial FirstNet Board meeting (http://kimball.typepad.com/lrkimball/2012/09/firstnet-board-meeting-reveals-strategy-for-development-of-nationwide-psbb-network.html ). Responses, inputs and recommendations relative to the proposed architecture and approach put forth so far, vary widely. Responders included vendors, user community, integrators, industry and Public Safety organizations, and carriers. The responses can be viewed or downloaded at the NTIA’s web site:
We would expect some discussion of these inputs, and a further update on the status of FirstNet activities to take place at the board’s next meeting. NTIA has announced the schedule for upcoming open public meetings of the FirstNet Board. The meetings will be held on December 11, 2012; April 23, 2013; August 13, 2013; and October 15, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time in Washington, D.C. Additional meetings will be held February 12, 2013, and December 17, 2013 in Boulder, Colorado; and June 11, 2013, in San Francisco, California. The detailed announcement, with information on accessing the meetings via webcast, is posted on the NTIA’s web site at: http://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2012/first-responder-network-authority-board-meeting
In a related matter, information released by NTIA indicates they have formed a new Office of Public Safety Communications tasked with overseeing the State and Local Implementation Grant Program, this is the $135M funding targeted to help state, local and tribal governments plan for the deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network. The new NTIA office will be charged with assisting FirstNet with procurement issues. Information released on this move indicates Stephen Fletcher, most recently the state of Utah’s CIO, will lead the newly formed department, and Laura Pettus, a program manager with NTIA previously supporting the PSIC Grant program, will be the deputy chief. In a presentation on the State and Local Implementation Grant program given by Ms. Pettus in August, she indicated the Notice of Funding Availability and full program details would be released in First Quarter of 2013.