Stakeholders wanting to give input to FirstNet about its public notice regarding “opt-out” states will have an extra week—until April 20—to submit responses, in accordance with numerous request made since the proceeding was initiated  earlier this month, according to FirstNet officials.

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.

“[We] last week were at IWCE, and a lot of the comments we received were, ‘Things are really moving now; we have a lot of things going on,’” Kennedy said during yesterday’s FirstNet board meeting, which was webcast. “In some cases, people were asking for more time, which I think is a good sign that we’re reaching a point where we’re out in front, or at least keeping up with demands and requests for information.”

FirstNet will post a formal announcement of response extension in the Federal Register, Kennedy said.

April promises to be a busy month for FirstNet. On April 14-15, FirstNet will conduct a meeting with its single points of contact (SPOCs) representing states and territories that will be served by the proposed nationwide public-safety broadband network, Kennedy said.

In addition, FirstNet will conduct a series of Industry Day events during the upcoming year as part of the request-for-proposal (RFP) process, Kennedy said.

“One of the key elements, as we put out draft RFP documents and we move toward the final RFP, is to have that engagement with industry,” he said. “We’ll be talking about specifics—we’ll be talking about draft statements of objectives, we’ll be talking about key requirements that are part of that overall procurement.

“Those kind of Industry Day elements, where we can answer all of those questions together and have a lot more detail to dive into, is something that I think the industry is looking forward to and I think will help us get to our desired goal.”

Initially, FirstNet officials had targeted April 13 as the date for the first Industry Day, but Kennedy later noted that likely would need to be conducted at a later date, because the FirstNet board opted to delay releasing its draft RFP by several weeks.