‘We will deliver,’ FirstNet GM tells IWCE audience
LAS VEGAS—FirstNet will plan carefully and be transparent in its efforts to deploy a nationwide broadband system for first responders, and “we will deliver this network for public safety,” FirstNet General Manager Bill D’Agostino said yesterday during the afternoon keynote session at IWCE 2014.
D’Agostino, who is approaching the one-year anniversary of his hiring with FirstNet, said that the organization has made significant strides during this period, but there is a lot of work to be done. Developing solid plans—such as the comprehensive roadmap approved by the FirstNet board earlier this month—to meet the myriad challenges faced by the organization is critical, he said.
“When it comes to planning, it’s about measuring twice and cutting once,” D’Agostino said. “We have only one opportunity to get this right, and there are a wide range of variables, decisions and investments that need to be carefully weighed before we spend taxpayer funding on anything less than a well thought out plan.”
Communicating those plans to stakeholders is key, D’Agostino said.
“Outreach is the next critical step for us,” D’Agostino said. “In the absence of information, people will fill the void with their own opinions. That is not a position that FirstNet wants to find itself in.
“Our commitment is to be open and transparent in our direction, our challenges and our plans. I’ve said many times before that our success at the state and local level is a direct correlation to our ability to listen and to communicate our messaging directly.”
D’Agostino reiterated the need for FirstNet to develop partnerships to make the much-anticipated broadband network for public safety a reality.
“These partnerships will bring much-needed assets to the table that will help FirstNet deploy the network and bolster ongoing operations,” he said. “We simply must harness the collective value of those assets and expertise, so that our costs remain low and our pricing brings unmatched value to our customer base.”
Some in the industry have expressed concerns about the amount of progress FirstNet has made to date, with a few questioning whether FirstNet can accomplish its mission to deploy a sustainable broadband network for public safety. But D’Agostino expressed confidence that FirstNet will make its vision a reality.
“I look forward to continuing to move along this roadmap to continue to do the things that we need to do, and we will deliver this network for public safety,” he said.