FirstNet SPOCs Receive State Planning Packages
Wednesday, December 23, 2015 | Comments

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) officially launched its consultation program for the upcoming year, sending planning packages to the single points of contact (SPOCs) in all 56 states and territories.

The package outlines next steps for each state, including scheduling a kick-off meeting, coordinating participation in governance body meetings, establishing consultation task teams (CTTs) and scheduling an executive consultation meeting. The package offers a kickoff meeting agenda and checklist, as well as an executive meeting draft agenda and suggested attendees. The planning package is available here.

Earlier this year, Dave Buchanan, director of state consultation, said FirstNet plans a more targeted series of engagements with states in 2016, following each state’s single one-day meeting during the past year.

The meetings will follow three tracks. The first is to expand education and outreach that states are doing. “We have the opportunity to do that because we’ve added regional teams and staff,” he said. “We are also going to target and make that outreach strategic.”

The second track is a series of task teams focused on network operations and topics to a targeted group of individuals from the state. The areas of prioritization and local control could be discussed, for example. “We would bring the content to the states, and they would bring the people most important to that topic,” Buchanan said. Hardening, training and security could also be topics, and some meetings could be conducted electronically to enhance efficiency.

The third track would be an executive consultation. “We want to target the critical players in the state who are most influential to the governor’s decision,” Buchanan said. “Most states have convened governance teams and indicated those teams need to include adding individuals and government cabinet members.”

Buchanan reiterated that states will be involved with developing their state plans, which are expected to be delivered beginning in 2017.

“Overall, we have designed this consultation program to give the states and territories both the opportunity and the flexibility to provide input into the State Plan process,” Buchanan said in a Dec. 22 blog post. “We are extremely pleased with how the initial consultation process worked in 2014 and 2015 and are looking forward to our ongoing consultation efforts with the states and territories in 2016 and beyond.”

In addition to state consultations, FirstNet’s team is attending more state-facilitated governance body meetings to provide updates, obtain state-specific insight, and answer stakeholder questions about the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN).

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