FirstNet Officials Tell FCC BRETSA Petitions Not Actionable Under Statute
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 | Comments

Officials from the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) met with FCC officials Nov. 15 to discuss the FCC’s public notice seeking comment on petitions for a declaratory ruling and rulemaking filed by the Boulder (Colorado) Regional Emergency Telephone Service Authority (BRETSA).

During the meeting, FirstNet officials urged the commission to deny BRETSA’s petitions and reiterated the points raised in its comments submitted in response to the public notice.

“We explained that the petitions seek measures that are inconsistent with and not actionable under the FirstNet Authority’s enabling statute, and which would damage the FirstNet program fought for by public safety and prescribed by Congress,” the ex parte notice said.

In particular, FirstNet officials said:
• Pursuant to the 2012 Act, the FirstNet is the federal entity responsible for the implementation and oversight of the nationwide public-safety broadband network (NPSBN), including making any determinations regarding interoperability, roaming or prioritization related to the network.

• The FirstNet network, which is based on a single, national network architecture; connects to the public-switched telephone network (PSTN); and is being implemented using open, commercial standards, is interoperable as required under the 2012 Act.

• The FCC has fulfilled all of its duties and responsibilities under the 2012 Act related to interoperability.

• Modifying the public-private arrangement that was the product of FirstNet’s comprehensive, open, transparent and competitive procurement process would have a significant negative impact on the program.

FirstNet officials at the meeting included FirstNet Executive Director Ed Parkinson and Counsel Paul Madison, along with Tom Shull and Pete Tomczak. They met with David Furth, Erika Olsen (by teleconference), Michael Wilhelm and Roberto Mussenden of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB).

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