Kennedy Expects FirstNet to Conclude Phase 1 State Meetings in 2015 (11/24/14)
Monday, November 24, 2014 | Comments

By Kristen Beckman
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) should complete the first phase of state consultations before the end of its fiscal 2015 year, according to TJ Kennedy, FirstNet deputy director, who testified during a House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications hearing on interoperable communications last week.

Reps. Susan W. Brooks, subcommittee chairman, and Donald Payne Jr., ranking member of the subcommittee, posed questions about FirstNet’s progress during the hearing.

Kennedy said the consultations are expected to include four phases with each state, and FirstNet is in phase one of those meetings. Thirty-two states have submitted their checklists, and eight consultation meetings have been completed so far, the most recent of which was with Iowa.

Phase one meetings include one day of discussions with representatives from each state to determine who their public-safety users are, how they plan to leverage the network, and other key issues and priorities, said Kennedy.

“As we move forward, this will help form our request for proposals (RFP) process as well as inform the state plan, and the goal of this consultation is to result in a state plan for each governor to be able to make a decision on opting in or opting out of the state radio access network portion of the FirstNet buildout,” said Kennedy.

Kennedy noted some of the phase one meetings have been quite large, with more than 170 participants representing city, county and state agencies, as well as tribal involvement and input from transportation groups and representatives from the state chief information officer (CIO) office.

“I believe in this fiscal year we will complete a first phase for each of the states, because each state is moving at a different timeframe as far as checklists and ability to get in,” said Kennedy. “A lot of it is at the mercy of when states are ready to have those conversations.”

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