FirstNet Approves $73.5M Fiscal 2018 Budget
Monday, September 18, 2017 | Comments

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board of directors approved a fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget of $73.5 million, a 13 percent decrease from its FY 2017 budget of $84.6 million. The resolution passed at the FirstNet board’s Sept. 14 meeting.

The reduction was based on streamlining processes in the post-award environment, focusing on improved resource optimization and reducing reliance on contractors and adding more full-time staff, said Kim Farrington, FirstNet chief financial officer (CFO).

She said the assumptions driving the FY 2018 budget include funding for staff and board expenses, which are 64 percent of the total budget, and resources needed to achieve all FY 2018 goals and objectives and meet FirstNet’s mission, comprising 36 percent of the total budget.

Farrington said 44 percent of FirstNet’s administrative cap through FY 2018 has been used.

FirstNet’s expenses fall into three main areas: network operations, which includes lab testing, approval of devices and management of states’ radio access network (RAN) deployments; public safety, which includes reporting, branding, social media strategies and federal liaison work; and corporate services comprising legal support, network operations and management, and data analysis and reporting.

The FirstNet board of directors also passed a resolution authorizing FirstNet management to reallocate up to 10 percent of the funds from any of the three major activity categories to another major activity category. Management may exceed the approved obligation level of the three major activity categories by no greater than 10 percent in the aggregate or by 15 percent in any individual major activity category.

FirstNet also plans to launch an applications development ecosystem and developer program. Officials said FirstNet’s public-safety core network should be fully implemented by March 2018.

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