Following the inaugural FirstNet board meeting there was serious concern by many about a lack of transparency being shown by the board. Following the second meeting it appears the transparency issues are being addressed by:
- NTIA’s released notice-of-inquiry (NOI) proceeding that concluded on December 1.
- Visits to BTOP entities that desire to deploy early networks
- The creation of a user advocacy officer position, which is being filled by Jeff Johnson until a permanent hire is made.
- A visit by board members to New York City communications offices in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, which allowed non-public safety members to better understand first responders’ need for a resilient network.
Food for Thought:
The Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) appears to be great representation of the concerned stakeholders, which means their inclusion/role in FirstNet decisions will prove to be vital (Public Safety Advisory Committee a key to FirstNet success), but as Don Hairston points out in his article, Opinion: First Responders’ Experience, Creativity Critical to Building Relevant, Widely Used FirstNet, one board cannot be expected to capture the concerns of all 2 million plus first responders. Therefore all first responders must continue to voice their concerns and ideas to FirstNet, the PSAC, and their State public safety offices, while understanding that sacrifices and compromise will be necessary to make a national network a lasting success.