FirstNet Board Approves Review Process for Future Network Investments
Friday, March 16, 2018 | Comments

Changes to the charter of the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet) Finance Committee implement a process for reviewing investments to the national public-safety broadband network (NPSBN).

The FirstNet board approved changes to the finance and other committee charters during its March 15 meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas.

As part of its contract with FirstNet, AT&T will make sustainability payments throughout the contract’s 25-year lifecycle. After FirstNet’s expenses are covered, all additional funds from those sustainability payments will be reinvested back into the network.

In recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), AT&T said it will pay around $18 billion in sustainability payments to FirstNet and expects about $15 billion of that to be reinvested in the network.

The new investment review process will help ensure that investments in the network meet FirstNet’s strategic goals, leverage subject matter experts for input on FirstNet priorities while using industry best practices, control risk on investment decisions, and allow for better transparency in the investment process that will help FirstNet decision-making, according to information from the meeting.

Other business from the meeting included:
• The board posthumously honored Tom Sorley with the Harlin R. McEwen Award. Sorley, who was chair of the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), passed away in February. Paul Patrick is currently serving as interim chair of the PSAC.
• The Consultation and Outreach Committee was renamed to the Pubic Safety Advocacy Committee as part of changes to its charter.
• FirstNet CEO Mike Poth detailed the work of the Arkansas State Police (ASP) to relocate existing radio systems from band 14 before it goes into use for the NPSBN. The ASP cleared the spectrum between Aug. 1, 2016, and Nov. 30, reprogramming 24,000 radios and six fixed repeater sites as part of the process. The agency received $3.7 million from the band 14 Spectrum Relocation Grant Program to help with the relocation.

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