ABSTRACT

Public Safety Communications: Preliminary Information on FirstNet's Efforts to Establish a Nationwide Broadband Network, Statement of Mark L. Goldstein, Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues, Testimony Before the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 505KB]

From the Highlights: "Public safety officials rely on thousands of separate radio systems to communicate during emergencies, which often lack interoperability, or the ability to communicate across agencies and jurisdictions. The 2012 act created FirstNet to establish a nationwide, interoperable, wireless broadband network for public safety use. In doing so, the act established numerous responsibilities for FirstNet, provided $7 billion from spectrum auctions proceeds for the network's construction, and required FirstNet to be self-funding beyond this initial allocation. As part of the effort, FirstNet is working with five 'early builder projects' that have permission to build local and regional interoperable public-safety broadband networks. This statement is based on preliminary information from GAO's [Government Accountability Office] ongoing review of FirstNet. This statement addresses (1) FirstNet's progress carrying out its responsibilities and establishing internal controls, (2) how much the network is estimated to cost and how FirstNet plans to become self-funding, and (3) what lessons can be learned from the early builder projects. GAO reviewed relevant FirstNet documentation and public-safety network cost estimates recommended by agency officials and experts; surveyed the state-designated FirstNet contact in 50 states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia; and interviewed FirstNet officials and public safety and wireless industry stakeholders selected for their telecommunications and public safety experience, among other things."

Report Number:
GAO-15-380T
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2015-03-11
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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