The Telecommunications Law Resource Center is the most comprehensive reference and news platform for communications law, covering broadcasting, cable, broadband, telephony and wireless;...
By Tim McElgunn
Jan. 26 — House lawmakers have scheduled a hearing for Feb. 2 to gauge progress on the buildout of a public safety broadband network for first responders.
The Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology subcommittee is seeking an update on the status of the project, including the request for proposals (RFP) issued on Jan. 14 by the Department of the Interior on behalf of the National Telecommunications & Information Administration.
The RFP lays out the objectives of the so-called First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN), and solicits bids for its construction. Construction will be funded with $7 billion that was mandated to come from the Federal Communications Commission's spectrum auctions and user fees. The initial $7 billion was funded by the AWS-3 spectrum auction that concluded in January 2015.
According to the RFP, FirstNet must create the public safety network within the financial parameters outlined in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 and ensure its financial sustainability through federal funding, user fees, and agreements with the contractor that will leverage the value of excess network capacity.
The plan to sell excess capacity has caused some communications providers to worry that the network will potentially create competition for their services.
The RFP also states, “FirstNet is seeking a comprehensive network solution covering each of the 56 states and territories. The comprehensive network solution shall provide FirstNet services that include: the deployment and provisioning of a nationwide Core Network (“Core”), and Radio Access Network (RAN) services; backhaul, aggregation, and the use of national transport networks and operation centers; a device ecosystem; use of network infrastructure; deployable capabilities; use of operational and business support systems; an applications ecosystem; network services; and the integration, maintenance, operational services, and ongoing evolution of these systems required to function fully as an operational wireless 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards-based Long Term Evolution (LTE) broadband network.”
The subcommittee also plans to examine the FCC's progress on its other duties under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 with regard to FirstNet's deployment.
“Especially in times of emergency, it is critical that first responders are able to communicate and coordinate for their own safety and to protect families and communities,” subcommittee chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said in a statement announcing the hearing. “We continue to monitor FirstNet's progress toward deploying this nationwide public safety network. Despite a tough start, FirstNet has demonstrated it is moving forward and getting closer to delivering for our nation's first responders.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Tim McElgunn in Cherry Hill, N.J., at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at email@example.com
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)