The federal government’s wireless communications network for first responders, FirstNet, announced Wednesday a set of principles that will guide its future investments in the network and its intention to build it out using a “roadmap” featuring crowdsourced input from public safety stakeholders.
The announcements were made at the a FirstNet board meeting in Jackson, Mississippi. The board last August approved its first $240 million annual budget, $78 million of which was dedicated to technological enhancements recommended by the public safety authorities who will use the network.
The principles adopted Wednesday will guide the use of the money, said FirstNet board chairman Edward Horowitz.
“As we strive to fully realize the promise of FirstNet, we are engaging with public safety to chart a path forward for the network,” Horowitz said in a press release. “Using their feedback, our Roadmap will advance the network and guide our investments over the next several years and beyond.”
According to the resolution, investment into the network must:
- Be derived from and benefit public safety
- Maintain and advance the foundation of the network
- Consider a balanced approach and provide value to public safety
- Be fiscally responsible and reflect strong financial management
The roadmap hasn’t been completed yet, but FirstNet will use it to articulate the highest priorities of the public safety users, who are being asked to provide feedback to the board. Other stakeholders, like the private sector and academia, will also have the opportunity to provide input, according to the agency.