FCC Announces Dec. 28 FirstNet Opt-Out Deadline
Wednesday, October 04, 2017 | Comments

In a public notice, the FCC announced that state First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) opt-out election notifications for 52 states and territories are due Dec. 28.

Under the Public Safety Spectrum Act, each state governor has 90 days from the receipt of notice by FirstNet to choose whether to participate in the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN) or elect for the state to conduct its own state radio access network (RAN) deployment.

In a June report and order outlining the standards and procedures it will use to review state alternative plans for states that want to opt out of FirstNet, the commission directed FirstNet to notify the FCC when it had provided states the requisite “notice” under the act.

On Sept. 29, FirstNet notified the commission that 52 states and territories received the required statutory notice, commencing the 90-day opt-out decisional period for those states and territories.

Based on this notice date, any of the 52 states or territories electing to opt out must submit such notice to the FCC no later than Dec. 28. All opt-out notices must reference PS Docket No. 16-269 and must be filed via the dedicated email address: opt-out@fcc.gov, or via certified mail.

The FCC also reminded states that opt-out notices must certify concurrent notification to FirstNet and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and notice must be made by the governor or the Governor’s authorized designee.

The full public notice is here.

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Comments
On 10/12/17, Mark Schroeder said:
As the opt-in and opt-out process continues, I have not yet seen what will occur at the interoperability level. How do agencies that are on the edge between state agencies either in or out maintain connectivity or even communications or device management access authorization?
How will the spectrum be managed and shared as the overlap happens? Which will get the lion share of coverage — a FirstNet contractor or a public-safety governance body? Is there something set in place that will require FirstNet control and access into an opt-out system in order to facilitate seemless transitions?
Please remember that the fire and police Departments just want to pick up a device and use it, not worry about which system they are on and how to create connections.

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