The Federal partners in the implementation of the National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) have compiled a series of frequently asked questions (FAQ) documents about the implementation of the NPSBN.  The Commonwealth PSBO will provide supplemental FAQs below to answer questions raised by Massachusetts stakeholders and interested parties.

If you have a question that you would like answered by the PSBO, please contact the PSBO at psbo@state.ma.us.

National Public Safety Broadband Network Factsheet (DHS, December 2012) 

This document provides an introduction to the NPSBN, as well as an overview of its benefits, governance, funding, and support for state, local, and tribal implementations.

National Public Safety Broadband Network FAQs for Policymakers (DHS, October 2012)

This document, addressed to policymakers, covers the following questions:

National Network Overview

What is the purpose of the NPSBN?
What is the history of the NPSBN?
What is FirstNet and what will it do?
When will the NPSBN be deployed?
Will deployments vary across the country?
What entities are included in the term “public safety”?
What is the timeline for my State to opt-out of the NPSBN?
A commercial vendor has offered to sell Long Term Evolution (LTE) infrastructure to my agency. Do I need to purchase this equipment now?
 

Communications Technology

What is the difference between Land Mobile Radio (LMR) and broadband networks, in particular LTE networks?
What is the difference between public safety and commercial networks?
Will broadband replace LMR?

Governance

Who is responsible for coordinating all the State and local assets and working with the FirstNet Board?

Funding

How will the network be funded?
Will funding of the network raise taxes in my State?
Is grant funding available to develop a network in my State?
Does the size of my State matter or will most of the funding go to States with larger populations?
How much will the network cost to develop, deploy, and maintain?
Should I continue to spend money on public safety communications systems?
Can my State generate revenue from the NPSBN if we opt-out?

Impact and the Future of the Network

What do I need to do to promote the development and deployment of the NPSBN?
Has such a deployment been done successfully elsewhere?

National Public Safety Broadband Network FAQs for Technical Personnel (DHS, October 2012)

This document, addressed to technical personnel, covers the following questions:

Nationwide Network Overview

What is Firstnet and what will it do?
When will the NPSBN be deployed?  Will deployments vary across the country?
What entities are included in the term “public safety”?
What is the timeline for my State to opt-out of the NPSBN?

Communications Technology

What is the difference between Land Mobile Radio (LMR) and broadband networks, in particular Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks?
Will broadband replace LMR?
Will broadband data access be ubiquitous across the country?
How will the NPSBN be different than Project 25 (P25)?
Will the NPSBN make all public safety agencies interoperable?
Who has priority on my State’s system when outside users come into our State?
How will the commercial wireless companies interact with States?
Will there be a standard for hardening the system to public safety standards?
How will other States’ networks identify and allow access for my State’s equipment?
A commercial vendor approached me to sell LTE infrastructure, do I need to purchase this equipment now?

Governance

Who is responsible for coordinating all the State and local assets and working with the FirstNet Board?
How does a State that chooses to opt-out of the FirstNet deployment obtain spectrum?

Funding

How will the network be funded?
Is grant funding available to develop a network in my State?
Should I continue to spend money on public safety communications systems?
How will costs associated with roaming to commercial networks be dealt with?

The Impact of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network for Operational Personnel (DHS, October 2012)

This document provides an overview of the NPSBN for operational personnel, as well as listing the benefits of using LTE for public safety communications and envisioning the future of public safety operations.