New Report: "What Should FirstNet Do First?"

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is pleased to announce the release of a timely report on the potential for a new National Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). Entitled "What Should FirstNet Do First?", the report coincides with the first meeting of the FirstNet Board of Directors.  The Board is empowered by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 to oversee the development of the NPSBN. The Principal Investigator for the study is Jamie Barnett, Rear Admiral, USN (Retired), Senior Vice President of Academic Programs and Research.  He recently led the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.

Regarding the new study, Admiral Barnett said, “A national network holds tremendous promise for delivering revolutionary broadband services and long-needed interoperability to public safety, but to be sustainable, FirstNet must embrace the states, formalize their representation and leverage their networks.”  Click on the attachment to read the report in full.


The report explores the possible timeline for planning and deployment of the National Public Safety Broadband Network, how the length of the timeline and deployment affects interoperability, the need to incorporate the states as stakeholders, and the possible loss of BTOP funding.

Some findings and possible courses of action are:

• Quickly obtain the expertise and capacity required to deploy a network over the next 5-7 years.
• Recognize the states as key stakeholders and customers of the NPSBN.
• Develop a cost model and business plan for both opt-in and opt-out states.
• Facilitate the early deployment of those states and localities that are well funded with tight interoperability requirements.
• Restart the early deployers that have BTOP grants or other funding.

Institute Focus

  • Science and Technology Policy
  • National Security
  • S&T Forecasting
  • Operational Research
  • Terrorism and Asymmetry
  • Emerging Threats and Opportunities
  • Cybersecurity
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The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.


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