FirstNet board to consider new review committee today
FirstNet board members will meet today via teleconference to consider the establishment of a special review committee to address some of the concerns raised last month by board member Paul Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald alleged that information was not being shared adequately, that network planning was being dominated by FirstNet members with commercial-wireless backgrounds, and that some FirstNet board members have conflicts of interest.
During the April meeting of the FirstNet board, Fitzgerald read a motionthat describes a proposed network plan—which had been provided to the board prior to the meeting—as “flawed.” Fitzgerald further alleged in the motion that the plan was developed by members with a “possible conflict of interest—or the appearance thereof—that has not been publicly disclosed.”
The motion also calls for review committees to evaluate the work done by the board to date, including the proposed network plan. The motion was tabled, and FirstNet Chairman Sam Ginn called for an immediate investigation, although he later noted that Fitzgerald did not provide evidence to support his claims.
“I am very troubled by the allegations of misconduct,” Ginn said. “I want those issues dealt with immediately, in some way, whether it’s counsel in [the U.S. Department of] Commerce or wherever. I want those issues dealt with—front and center—now, so this board can understand whether, in fact , the allegations are true or not.”
Today’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. eastern time and will be conducted via a teleconference, according to an NTIA announcement.