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Public Safety

NTIA’s Office of Public Safety Communications (OPSC) oversees the implementation of NTIA’s responsibilities under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It also supports the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) with support functions for its efforts to deploy, operate, and maintain the nationwide public safety broadband network.

NTIA has statutory and delegated responsibilities related to the FirstNet Authority.  Under the enabling statute, the NTIA Assistant Secretary must approve all fees collected by the FirstNet Authority.  As part of the 25-year partnership contract with AT&T to deploy and operate the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, the FirstNet Authority receives an annual sustainability fee from AT&T that must be approved by NTIA. 

Additionally, the FirstNet Authority has a Board composed of 15 members, of which three are permanent positions held by Executive Branch cabinet officials and 12 are non-permanent members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce for three-year terms.  The Secretary also appoints a Board Chair from the group of 12 non-permanent members.  NTIA supports the Secretary with the recruitment, vetting, and recommendations for the 12 non-permanent Board seats.   

In addition to carrying out its responsibilities under the Act, NTIA is engaged in variety of other activities to support the 9-1-1 community:

NTIA provides best practices to 9-1-1 officials regarding the implementation of Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1).

Engage with other Federal partners across the Executive Branch on issues related to NG9-1-1 in support of the public safety community.

Starting in 2009 through 2022, NTIA and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded two separate rounds of grants to the States, U.S. territories, and tribes to improve 9-1-1 services with enhanced and next-generation technologies.

OPSC Leadership Directory

Associate Administrator: Mike Dame (Acting)

Contact

Office of Public Safety Communications
National Telecommunications & Information Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave., N.W., Room 4078
Washington, DC  20230
Phone: (202) 482-5802

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April 8-14 marks this year’s National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, when we take time to appreciate and thank the dedicated professionals who staff the thousands of 911 centers throughout the nation. These devoted public servants work quietly on the front lines of emergencies, serving as “the first of our first responders.”

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

We may take 911 calls for granted today, but it was only 50 years ago that the first emergency call was completed in Haleyville, Alabama. We’re now on the cusp of improving our 911 system by providing our highly trained professionals with the advanced tools they need to do their jobs in the 21st century.

Through our joint Implementation Coordination Office, later this year we will be rolling out a revamped 911 grant program to provide states and territories with federal funds to upgrade their 911 operations to keep pace with Next Generation communications technologies. 

Please join me this week in recognizing the men and women who work behind the scenes, often without recognition, to answer our 911 calls, dispatch our first responders, and protect our lives and property.

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All 50 States Choose FirstNet Public-Private Partnership for Public Safety Broadband Network

December 29, 2017

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) announced that all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have accepted FirstNet and AT&T’s proposals to design and build a broadband network for the public safety community. Guam, the Pacific Territories of American Samoa, and the Mariana Islands have until March 12, 2018, to make their decision.

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