FirstNet Appointments

The Honorable Wilbur Ross
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20230

Michael Poth
Chief Executive Officer
First Responder Network Authority
12201 Sunshine Valley Drive
Reston, VA 20192


Dear Secretary Ross and Mr. Poth:

On behalf of the National Governors Association (NGA), we write to you regarding the recent appointments to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board and Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) Executive Committee.

As you know, governors were strong supporters of the public safety spectrum provisions in the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 and are dedicated to the implementation of the new broadband network for our first responders.

We were disappointed to hear earlier this year that former Governor Jim Douglas was not reappointed to the FirstNet board. Additionally, we were recently informed that that the PSAC Executive Committee was reorganized and would no longer have representation from the National Governors Association.

Governors and NGA have continuously emphasized that FirstNet must view states as partners in this endeavor, not only to meet the statutory requirements for consultation with states, but more importantly to ensure that key information, processes and expertise within states can be appropriately brought to bear on the full range of FirstNet activities. States have a number of well-established communications and coordination mechanisms with local and tribal governments and public safety organizations whose participation is essential to reduce costs and provide for ongoing network operations.

The lack of state and gubernatorial representation on the FirstNet’s board and PSAC executive committee is very concerning and runs counter to the requirement for state consultation and governors’ continued call for transparency and collaboration.
We hope to hear more from you on this issue, and on ways to ensure governors’ voices are heard throughout the build out and implementation of the network.


Governor Brian Sandoval
National Governors Association

Governor Steve Bullock
Vice Chair
National Governors Association