Magazine article National Defense

FirstNet Takes Next Steps, but without Its General Manager

Magazine article National Defense

FirstNet Takes Next Steps, but without Its General Manager

Article excerpt

The First Responder Network Authority, better known as FirstNet, recently took some key steps toward its long-term goal of building a nationwide communication network for first responders.

It has released "checklist" documents to 56 states and territories that will help it understand their needs, a strategic roadmap to assist it in developing its business plan, named a chief technology officer and funded key activities.

The announcements of these achievements came only weeks after its first general manager, Bill D'Agostino, abruptly resigned after less than a year on the job.

Congress in 2012 established FirstNet, which is an independent organization administered within the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Congress allocated $7 billion to kickstart the effort to build the nationwide network and reserved highly sought after spectrum for first responders' exclusive use.

Its goal is to build a nationwide broadband network where a police officer, firefighter or other emergency personnel can use a single communication device and have it work interoperably whether they are in the middle of Death Valley or in the heart of Manhattan. …

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