It has been a year since Congress created FirstNet, a federal authority within NTIA tasked with building a $7 billion nationwide wireless public safety broadband network. With its board already appointed, FirstNet has begun planning, designing, and developing the public safety network, supported by a $121.5 million grant program to staff and implement state and local government planning and coordination activities. However, important issues remain involving FirstNet’s deployment strategy, potential network partners, procurement approach, and the complex task of leveraging resources and facilities from state and local governments, wireless carriers, utilities, and others. In addition, the availability of future funding for FirstNet’s $7 billion price tag is tied to the success of the FCC’s recapture and repacking of television broadcast spectrum and sufficient proceeds from the auction of broadcast spectrum for wireless broadband use.
These issues and others will be examined in a live webcast carried on Broadband US TV from 1:00-2:30 pm (ET) on March 1, 2013, entitled “FirstNet:A Year Later – Understanding the $7 Billion Opportunity . . . and Challenges.” Co-hosts Marty Stern of K&L Gates and Jim Baller of the Baller Herbst Law Group will be joined by Laura Pettus, Program Manager, NTIA Public Safety Interoperable Communications Grant Program, and an expert panel featuring Dr. Andrew Afflerbach, CEO/Director of Engineering – CTC Technology & Energy; Jeff Cohen, Chief Counsel, Law and Policy, APCO International; Martha Duggan, Senior Principal, Regulatory Affairs, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association; and Michael Hardiman, Director, Mission Critical Broadband Solutions, Alcatel-Lucent.
You can access the webcast here (free registration required).