WASHINGTON—To help states with the implementation of the nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety communications, the National Governors Association (NGA) today hosted a forum, “Preparing for Public Safety Broadband.”
The passage of legislation that reallocates a portion of the spectrum (D block) to create a nationwide broadband network for first responders is a cornerstone of making the nation’s first interoperable public safety broadband network a reality. Governors have played an active role in supporting implementation so that first responders can communicate and deliver life-saving and life-sustaining services to citizens. The new law requires that the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), which is charged with constructing and operating the network, coordinate directly with governors.
“Governors will play a vital role in the success of the nationwide network,” said Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead. “Since states have options in the construction of the network, it is helpful for states to meet and discuss the best path forward.”
Teams from nearly 50 states and territories were in attendance and topics of the “Preparing for Public Safety Broadband” meeting included:
- Educating governors and other key state policymakers on challenges and opportunities related to moving to public safety broadband;
- Assisting states in the process of updating and developing statewide communications plans and business models for network development;
- Assisting states in understanding the differences between participating in the national network or building a separate state network; and
- Supporting additional opportunities for state leadership on broadband build out and governance.
NGA will continue to support states as they move forward with implementation, broadband build out and governance. During the forum, NGA released Steps to Prepare for Public Safety Broadband and an accompanying white paper, which outlines the essential steps states can take now to prepare for implementation.
Earlier this month, NGA submitted comments to the Department of Commerce flagging items of particular interest and importance to states to ensure the network’s success. Additionally, NGA submitted governors’ nominees to serve on the board of FirstNet.