NPSTC Position Paper Supports FirstNet
Wednesday, June 20, 2018 | Comments

The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) released a statement noting its supports the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) as the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN).

“NPSBN is what public safety advocated for from the beginning of discussions within the community, starting around 2006, and what Congress mandated — a single nationwide network,” the position statement said.

NPSTC developed a public-safety statement of requirements document in 2007 and a high-level broadband requirements document in 2012. Since then, NPSTC has developed many specific requirements documents to support the broadband for public-safety implementation process, which were all approved by NPSTC's 16 public-safety member organizations.

When FirstNet was formed, state and local public safety provided proposed specifications through a multiyear state consultation and request for proposals (RFP) process. Public safety did, and will continue, to have input in FirstNet.

FirstNet has a physically separate, redundant and dedicated core, not a virtual core as part of a commercial network. This supports the SAFECOM public-safety communications continuum, which encourages one platform for the highest level of interoperability, the statement said.

Under the technology leg of the continuum, a two-way standards-based shared system is the highest level of interoperability, more so than a proprietary shared system.

“One public-safety core, the FirstNet core, also takes us away from decades of systems that cannot interoperate for multijurisdictional responses,” the statement said.

NPSTC Chairman Ralph Haller said the position statement is meant to support Department of Homeland Security (DHS) public-safety interoperability efforts, rather than take sides in a commercial dispute.

“FirstNet is the only network with band class 14 spectrum that is dedicated to public safety,” the statement said. “FirstNet also has an oversight organization in the FirstNet Authority that not only ensures that AT&T delivers on its commitments but also advocates for public safety. Both are unique to FirstNet.”

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