81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas


WHEREAS, FirstNet was created by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 to provide emergency responders with the first nationwide, high-speed network dedicated to public safety; and

WHEREAS, using a nationwide spectrum license, FirstNet intends to provide a single platform for daily public safety communications so that when natural disasters, threats to national security, or other emergencies occur anywhere in the country, emergency responders will be able to communicate with one another; and

WHEREAS, FirstNet intends to build a network that will have a nationwide architecture, but will meet local needs and be managed at the local level; and

WHEREAS, FirstNet intends to build the network to public-safety grade standards using Long-Term Evolution (LTE) wireless technology so that it will deliver greater coverage, capacity, connectivity, cybersecurity and resiliency than the current multiplicity of diverse public safety wireless systems; and

WHEREAS, FirstNet is overseen by a Board composed of  federal officials and wireless industry and public safety experts, as well as former President of The United States Conference of Mayors and Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, and that Board receives advice from the Public Safety Advisory Committee, which is chaired by a former police chief and public safety communications expert and has as vice chairs representatives of local and state governments, the fire service, and emergency medical service personnel; and

WHEREAS, the FirstNet Board and the PSAC are moving quickly to develop the architecture and management plans for the network; and

WHEREAS, as FirstNet plans and develops the network it is important that it take into account existing public safety communications networks either in use or under development, including but not limited to the suspended Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) projects, so that it will take advantage of the significant resources already committed to these networks and be able to realize early successes; and

WHEREAS, allowing secondary users such as utilities and other critical infrastructure users to utilize the FirstNet Nationwide Network can provide significant benefits in terms of coordinated disaster response and help to defray deployment and operational costs of the network, but their use of the network must not jeopardize the first priority of public safety access; and

WHEREAS, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration at the Commerce Department, which is providing administrative and other support to FirstNet is in the process of reviewing and awarding state and local planning grants to the states and territories,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that FirstNet assure that the local first responder communication needs be taken into account in state and local planning and implementation grants and that planning and implementation activities be undertaken with the full participation of local public safety and government officials; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the governance structure for the network clearly specify the role that local governments and their public safety organizations will play in managing its operations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the network to be developed integrates with the existing public safety communication networks, including local narrowband communications, the suspended BTOP projects and other broadband networks under development in the jurisdictions which have been granted waivers by the FCC to deploy broadband networks in advance of the nationwide network; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that local officials control the access of secondary users to the network to ensure that meeting public safety capacity is the top priority; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that FirstNet assure that network user fees and devices are affordable by local public safety organizations and that there is sufficient research and development funding to assure the affordability of equipment compatible with the network.