Firstnet: The $7,000,000,000 Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network Is Coming Your Way.

In 2012, Congress broke off 20Mhz in the 700Mhz frequency band and gives it, along with 7 billion dollars, to a new independent agency, dubbed FirstNet, who was charged with creating a National Safety Broadband Wireless Network.

Is anyone planning on assisting with the build out of this network? Although the rollout won't be for 2 years, there is a apparently a ton of design/proof of concept work to be done before then.

Here is their mission:

First and foremost, the FirstNet network is being built for public safety. The purpose of the network is to provide a broadband wireless communications to police officers, firefighters, paramedics and other public safety and support personnel to meet their important mission every day. We know that traditional first responders must have access to the network. During incidents where multiple agencies converge in a small area, first responders must be able to leverage access priorities.

FirstNet will enhance public safety communications by delivering mission-critical data and applications that augment the voice capabilities of today’s land mobile radio (LMR) networks When the FirstNet network is initially deployed, it will provide mission-critical, high-speed data services to supplement the voice capabilities of today’s LMR networks. FirstNet users will be able to send and receive data, video, images, text, as well as use voice applications. They will communicate over the network and benefit from the ability to share applications.

Here's how to set yourself up to work with them.

Here's some info about a proof of concept award in New Jersey.


By coincidence, I just finished a report for graduate school on FirstNet.

FirstNet was legislated in 2012 as one of the last items recommended by the 9/11 Commission Report. Its purpose is to allow interoperability between departments and jurisdictions.

Interoperability has been a huge problem during any major disaster. Most often, first responders default to their cell phones to communicate with other departments.

“The officer carries a radio on his belt but he might as well be wearing a brick,” said Robert Morris, Vice President, New York Port Authority PBA, in describing where some devices work so poorly in locations that officers are instead using their personal cell phones to communicate with each other. “We have front line, rank and file troops unable to communicate. This is nearly a decade after 9/11 and the same ‘bugs’ in our communications systems that cost lives still exist.” (Gadiel & Dunleavy, 2011).

Each state has the option of allowing FirstNet (the Feds) to install the network, or apply for a grant to do it themselves. It will use the 700MHz LTE network for both voice and data (FRNA, 2015). As such, I suppose it could carry IP video as well.

References

First Responder Network Authority. (2015). About FirstNet. Retrieved from http://www.firstnet.gov/about

Gadiel, P., & Dunleavy, P. (2011, September 7). Family Security Matters. Retrieved from http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.10324/pub_detail.asp

By coincidence, I just finished a paper for graduate school on FirstNet.

Cool. What was the thesis, if you don't mind me asking?

Sounds like it was passed like most federal legislation, as an unfunded

proposition.

No one could believe, and least of all any experienced public safety agency

officials who are used to million dollar LMR (Land Mobile Radios) infrastructure

and the associated costs that come along with it, that $7,000,000,000 can

even approachfunding for a new 4G LTE nationwide interoperable network

infrastructure. Not to mention the deployment of how many "smartphones"

and thesoftware/apps that must accompany such a deployment.

Oh, and has anyone talked about support, maintenance and other

ancillary costs that will be charged to each public safety agency?

Oh, again, and how long has this been in the planning stage now?

Sounds like it was passed like most federal legislation, as an unfunded proposition.

That's true, but since in Jan the FCC auctioned off spectrum between 1.7 Ghz and 2.2 Ghz for 44 billion dollars, FirstNet is fully funded.

Here is a link to the RFP template that the states are to use as a first cut at initial requirements.

Oh, again, and how long has this been in the planning stage now?

A long time, with many scandals along the way. But the money is starting to flow...

I should have said report, not paper. I have edited my OP.

"How can communications interoperability contribute interagency cooperation (not just concerning radio communication, but information exchange as well)? Provide examples from the course and your own research regarding both the US domestic setting and US international relations with foreign partners. Overall, which factors are most important for making interagency cooperation function well among partners working in areas related to homeland security? Provide examples from the course and your own research regarding the US domestic setting and international environments (e.g., in Europe, North America and transatlantic relations)."

Welcome to my life lately.