FirstNet is a Reality: What’s Next?

Recently, I spoke with a retired Assistant Chief from a major metropolitan Police Department who had some great insights about FirstNet that I believe are worth sharing.

My friend worked in public safety service for years and is really excited about the FirstNet solution that is now available to all. This solution is something that’s going to revolutionize the way we do business for decades to come, with capabilities that until now, we could only imagine.

And yet, as skeptical as we are in public safety, the most frequent question he still hears from public safety brethren is this: “Is this for real?” I’m here to tell you that it is. Over the coming weeks, I hope to share with you some of his insights and opinions, gleaned from decades spent working with the public safety community.

FirstNet is for real and available today for states that have chosen to opt-in to the FirstNet solution. In some ways, we did not see this coming so quickly and assumed we had a couple more years to build out before we would wake up and act.

Guess what? Now is the time for all of us in public safety to make sure we make our voice heard! Your state Governor is in the process of reviewing and deciding the future of your network for the next 25 years. It’s a sobering decision and if I were a Governor, I would totally be relying on public safety to make that decision.

The key to the federal legislation that created FirstNet was the designation of the FirstNet spectrum to public safety communications. Now it’s up to us to make sure that when the Governor makes his decision, Public Safety is the only focus.

In the next few weeks, I will post a series of quick blogs about the opt-in/opt-out process with the facts and what that means to you. I will also propose some questions you should ask yourself as a public safety leader in this process.

My friend purchased and developed many systems for his Department and other customers over the years, so he is intimately familiar with public safety needs. He wants each of you to be involved and armed with facts while your state Governor makes decisions about your future. Stay tuned as we explore the topics below in upcoming articles.

• What is the network deployment schedule?
• What will it cost if we Opt-In?
• What will it cost if we Opt-Out?


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