During the FirstNet Town Hall, CEO Michael Poth, President TJ Kennedy, and Consultation Director Dave Buchanan shared an update on progress toward deploying the nationwide public safety broadband network.
According to Mr. Kennedy, FirstNet is now moving from planning into the operational phase, while ensuring continued consultation with public safety. He noted that the Public Safety Advisory Committee was “critical for the draft and final RFP,” and that FirstNet will “continue to leverage and use them to look at key aspects of identity management,” in addition to other important operational issues. “We want to continue to meet objectives for years to come.” Mr. Kennedy said.
FirstNet created two offices to aid in the operational phase of deployment. The Network Program Office will focus on network deployment issues, such as radio access network deployment and working to expand and evolve the network in states and territories. The Chief Customer Office will focus on customer-facing issues, such as continuing consultation and outreach related to FirstNet, customer service, and managing products and marketing.
“We want public safety to drive innovation and operations of public safety agencies to make them more efficient and effective going forward,” Mr. Kennedy said. Mr. Poth noted that outreach to states, territories, and federal agencies will be critical to ensure members of the public safety community “understand what FirstNet is and what we plan on doing.”
Mr. Buchanan discussed FirstNet’s plans to prepare states for delivery of state plans following the RFP award, which is anticipated for November 2016. “We want to have a dialogue with right people [at the state level] and address all issues,” he said.