Governors Discuss, Prepare for Nationwide Broadband Network at Forum (7/2/12)
The National Governors Association (NGA) hosted a forum and released a white paper and list of steps that states should take to prepare for the construction of the 700 MHz public-safety broadband network. Teams from nearly 50 states and territories attended.
The NGA recommends that each state communicate with the private sector to establish roles in constructing and operating the network. Many of these decisions will be contingent on the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), an entity within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) tasked with overseeing the construction and operation of the network in each state. FirstNet is scheduled to be in place by Aug. 22.
FirstNet is required to provide each state with a deployment plan and funding proposal. Based on the plan and proposed funding, the governors have 90 days to decide whether to participate in the deployment of the nationwide network or to opt out and deploy their own portion of the network. If a state opts out, it has 180 days to develop and complete a request for proposal for the construction, maintenance and operation of the network. The FCC must approve the state's plan, or the state is required to abide by the plan developed by FirstNet.
“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.”
For more on the states’ decisions related to the public-safety broadband network, click here. NGA released a document called “Steps to Prepare for Public Safety Broadband” and a white paper that outlines the essential steps states can take to prepare for implementation.
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