Initially envisioned by the 9/11 Commission and enacted by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is an independent Federal authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that was established to provide emergency responders with a nationwide, high-speed, wireless network dedicated to public safety. The envisioned National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) will facilitate communications amongst first responders during emergencies and provide reliable, secure access for public safety users every day.
To begin the process of implementing the network nationally, the NTIA has issued initial grants through the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP). Phase One of this grant program started in the fall of 2013 and focuses on education and outreach. Phase Two will focus on data collection and FirstNet requirements, including considerations specific to implementing the NPSBN in the Commonwealth. The PSBO will coordinate activities with the FirstNet regarding the creation of the NPSBN and its implementation in the Commonwealth.
Over the next few months, the PSBO will:
- Facilitate the concept of a single point of contact with NTIA and FirstNet as mandated by Federal grant funding requirements
- Hold outreach and information sessions to inform interested parties about the direction of the NPSBN and the Commonwealth's role in it
- Solicit feedback concerning public safety broadband needs and expectations in Massachusetts
- Answer questions that you may have about this initiative
- Provide up-to-date information about FirstNet and public safety broadband activities via this website
The PBSO will collaborate with first responders, public safety entities and other stakeholders in preparation for the deployment of the network in Massachusetts.