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FirstNet Establishes Preliminary Strategic Roadmap and Recommends Active Stakeholder Input

March 12, 2014

On March 11, 2014, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Board released a preliminary strategic roadmap for developing a definitive business plan for FirstNet deployment.  To implement the roadmap, FirstNet will seek comment on proposed rules and policies beginning this year.  FirstNet, an independent entity within the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), is charged with taking all actions necessary to build, deploy, and operate a high-speed, nationwide network dedicated to public safety. 

The FirstNet roadmap sets forth milestones for working with stakeholders to develop a sustainable network.  Through these benchmarks, the FirstNet Board expects to test its cost-based, revenue-based, and deployment-focused assumptions before finalizing its business plan.  The roadmap establishes both longer term milestones necessary to create the definitive business plan and milestones FirstNet aims to accomplish in the next year.

Milestones established by the preliminary strategic roadmap include:

  • Staff and resource the organization;
  • Complete an open, transparent, and competitive process for comprehensive network proposals based upon FirstNet LTE performance requirements, operating standards, and certified devices;
  • Complete an open, transparent, and competitive process for network equipment and services proposals based on detailed technical requirements, resulting in multiple awards that could supplement or substitute for all or part of a comprehensive network proposal;
  • In conjunction with each of the comprehensive network and network equipment and services processes, obtain proposals for covered leasing agreements that will provide value for FirstNet's excess network capacity;
  • Complete testing and validation of critical features and functionality of the network;
  • Conduct state outreach and complete state consultation; and
  • Review aggregated information to determine pricing for approval.

FirstNet milestones for the next year include:

  • Initiate public notice and comment on certain program procedures, policies, and statutory interpretations;
  • Release draft requests for comprehensive network proposals for offeror comments;
  • Release draft requests for certain network equipment and services proposals for offeror comments; and
  • Begin formal state consultations. 

A copy of the FirstNet Program Roadmap Executive Summary is available here.