While the federal government shutdown is forcing FirstNet to be “very cost-conscious,” staff still is working on the entity’s various missions–including the selection of staff to meet with the individual states and territories–says TJ Kennedy, FirstNet’s deputy general manager.
Morgan O’Brien–co-founder of Nextel Communications and the first to propose a nationwide broadband network for public safety–says the private-radio industry also needs to migrate to broadband technologies like LTE to flourish.
Ireland-based Multipath Networks this month is introducing its bandwidth-aggregation technology–used by first responders and enterprises in Europe–to U.S. consumers and enterprises. The solution is expected to be commercially available early next year.
A committee aide for Sen. John “Jay” Rockefeller said the senator’s letter to Motorola Solutions “stands on its own” when asked if Rockefeller had any evidence other than media reports that the company was involved in any anti-FirstNet activities.
Only the state of Louisiana still is waiting for its award to be announced. Initially, states will receive only 50% of their award–provided by the NTIA’s State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP)–which will be used to pay for first-phase activities, such as expanding existing governance entities to consult with FirstNet, conducting education and outreach to relevant stakeholders, and identifying potential public-safety users in their jurisdictions.
Special review committee—supported by a three-person team of attorneys from the U.S. Department of Commerce—finds that the FirstNet board of directors has engaged in open and transparent decision-making, and did not withhold information from some board members. Chairman Sam Ginn said it is important now that board members “begin to rebuild trust in one another.”
A draft of the report–which will address allegations that FirstNet board members have acted inappropriately–is completed, but special committee needs to “dot i’s and cross t’s,” says Wellington Webb, committee chairman.
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) last week released grant money to six states as part of the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP), meaning 45 of the 55 states and territories have received their first-phase funding to plan for the nationwide broadband network for first responders being built by FirstNet.