FirstNet: Opt-Out States Should Have Vendor Contracts Before Submitting Alternative Plans
Friday, June 16, 2017 | Comments

First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) officials said in an ex parte filing that they are concerned that the FCC’s draft order with procedures for the state opt-out process is too lengthy, complex and open ended, potentially resulting in substantial delay and uncertainty. During several meetings, FirstNet reiterated that the draft order’s decision not to require an opt-out state to have in place an executed contract with a vendor prior to submitting an alternative plan to the FCC could have disastrous consequences for the network and public safety.

FirstNet also said that under no circumstances does the FCC have oversight authority over FirstNet’s network policies. The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 is clear that only FirstNet has the authority to establish network policies for the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN), including policies related to the technical and operational requirements of the network, the filing said.

“Any attempt by the commission to seek comment on, and thus potentially alter, FirstNet’s network policies would constitute significant overreach by the FCC and would undermine Chairman Pai’s approach to ensuring that the commission does not exceed the authority granted to it by Congress,” the FirstNet fiing said.

FirstNet said the FCC should not lose sight of public safety’s pressing need for the expeditious deployment of the NPSBN.

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