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Process Design

The law that established FirstNet required consultations with Federal, State, tribal, and local public safety entities to ensure that the FirstNet network was designed to meet the needs of public safety across the country. State, tribal and local consultation was a collaborative process, involving key stakeholders and leadership from each state and territory, and will incorporate enhancements and improvements as they develop.

FirstNet worked with the designated single officer and governmental body during state and local planning consultation to gather requirements from key stakeholders for developing its deployment plan.

State and local planning consultation topics included:

  • Construction of a core network and any RAN build-out
  • Placement of towers
  • Coverage areas of the network, whether at the regional, state, tribal, or local levels
  • Adequacy of hardening, security, reliability, and resiliency requirements
  • Assignment of priority to local users
  • Assignment of priority and selection of entities seeking access to or use of the nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network and training needs of local users

FirstNet began its nationwide state and local planning outreach efforts in mid-May 2013 with six regional workshops. Ten individuals from each state and territory, including some tribal representatives, participated in these interactive meetings, where they communicated their requirements, priorities and concerns to FirstNet. This initial phase of consultation provided FirstNet with valuable insights. They learned how unique the coverage needs are in each state and territory and how different local and regional incident policies and procedures are at the local level.

Tribes and Federal Users

FirstNet created an education and outreach program to engage tribal leaders on the network and their public safety needs. In addition to encouraging the designated single officer or governmental body to include tribal nations in the FirstNet state consultation process, FirstNet held additional meetings with tribal representatives. Likewise, FirstNet engaged with a variety of federal agencies to determine how best to leverage their assets and expertise for the network.

State Visits

Building on the regional workshops, FirstNet maintained individual visits to each of the states and territories to continue the dialog about building a broadband network dedicated to public safety. FirstNet worked through each designated state point of contact to arrange a visit, agree on the agenda and identify participants. The agenda for initial FirstNet visits focused on roles and responsibilities, users and coverage needs. They also discussed expectations for data collection and other state-specific issues. These meetings paved the way for ongoing collaboration that resulted in FirstNet's development of 56 unique state deployment plans.

State Decision on FirstNet's RAN Plans

Members of the FirstNet outreach and design teams worked closely with the designated single officer and governmental body to develop and deliver a network deployment plan that met the needs of the state. FirstNet then provided the Governor of each state or territory with a notice of the completion of the request for proposal process; the details of the proposed plan; and the funding level for the state or territory. Upon receipt of the plan, a Governor had 90 days to choose whether to participate in the plan provided by FirstNet or conduct its own deployment of a radio access network (RAN). If a Governor decided to opt out, then he/she was required to notify FirstNet, NTIA, and the FCC. After providing the notification, the Governor had 180 days to develop and complete requests for proposals (RFPs) for the construction, maintenance and operation of the RAN within the State. The State would be required to submit an alternative plan to the FCC that is interoperable with the NPSBN and comply with the minimum technical interoperability requirements under the Act.

All 50 states, five U.S. territories and Washington, D.C. have “opted in” to FirstNet, meaning each has accepted its individual State Plan detailing how the network will be deployed in their state/territory.

Department of Safety
33 Hazen Drive |  Concord, NH 03305