NTIA seeks comment on design of public-safety broadband network

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is seeking comment on the design and business plan of the nation's proposed interoperable public-safety broadband network.

The NTIA said that the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), the body inside the NTIA in charge of designing the network, wants comment on the "conceptual network architecture" for the network as well as several other areas. NTIA is also seeking input on the general concept of how to develop applications for public-safety users. The request for comments comes after FirstNet's board held its first meeting on Sept. 25. Comments are due Nov. 1.

At its inaugural meeting, FirstNet got up and running and took several actions. The group adopted bylaws, set up a State, Regional, Local, and Tribal Consultation Committee, and requested the FCC transfer the public-safety spectrum license to FirstNet. The agency hopes to leverage existing resources and infrastructure as much as possible to achieve the major elements of the nationwide wireless network.

Other issues the board must deal with include how to partner with commercial carriers and use existing commercial infrastructure to reduce the buildout costs of the network; how the network will be maintained and upgraded as LTE technologies evolve; how roaming agreements with commercial carriers will be structured; how public-safety workers will get priority access to the network in cases of emergencies; and how devices for the network will be certified.

For more:
- see this NTIA release
- see this Broadcasting & Cable article
- see this Urgent Communications article

Related Articles:
FCC: FirstNet just needs to ask for 700 MHz public-safety spectrum
Utilities angling to use public safety's 700 MHz broadband spectrum
Seybold's Take: FirstNet board appointees ready for public safety broadband network challenge
FirstNet must act quickly to make the public-safety LTE network a reality
NTIA: Give early public-safety deployments the full 700 MHz allocation