March 14, 2018
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.) today announced a federal grant for the Alabama Office of Information Technology totaling $250,000 to expand the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), a public safety broadband network dedicated to police, firefighters, emergency medical service professionals and other public safety entities. The grant is administered through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA).
“We have a responsibility to provide Alabama’s first responders with the best, most reliable tools possible so they can serve our communities effectively,” said Senator Jones. “FirstNet is a critical resource for our first responders who need to communicate during times of emergency when public networks are often overloaded. This grant will serve to expand our state’s existing emergency broadband networks and increase access to these life-saving services.”
Established in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, FirstNet is designed to ensure the building, deployment, operation, and maintenance of the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. The program will provide a single interoperable platform for emergency and daily public safety data communications.
FirstNet is an independent authority within NTIA. It’s is governed by a fifteen-member board consisting of the Attorney General of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and 12 members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce, which include representatives from public safety; local, state and federal government; and the wireless industry.