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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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NTIA, FirstNet Authority Announce Leadership Changes

September 05, 2018

Today, NTIA and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) announced that U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has reappointed Edward Horowitz to the FirstNet Board and named him Chair of the Board for a two-year term. Additionally, FirstNet Authority CEO Mike Poth has accepted a position in the private sector and will assist with transition efforts before leaving his position at the end of September.

FirstNet Board Leaders Announce Plans to Retire

August 20, 2018

Today, FirstNet Board Chair Sue Swenson and Vice Chair Jeffrey Johnson notified Assistant Secretary of Commerce David Redl of their resignation from the FirstNet board. Formal letters of resignation have been submitted to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

Moving Forward with 911 Grants

August 10, 2018

Today, NTIA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the opening of the 911 Grant Program, which will provide as much as $110 million to help 911 call centers across the country upgrade equipment and operations to Next Generation (NG911) capabilities.

With these upgrades, citizens, first responders, and 911 call-takers will be able to use modern communications technology – such as text messaging and video calls – during emergencies. NG911 will improve coordination and allow first responders to quickly connect with key health and government services. It will also enable 911 calls to contain real-time caller location and emergency information.

Details on how eligible states, territories and tribal organizations can apply for funding can be found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity on Grants.gov. The program has a two-step application process. Initial applications, which include identification of a designated 911 Coordinator and a required certification on non-diversion of 911 charges, need to be submitted by September 10, 2018, to nhtsa.national911@dot.gov. Following these submissions, NTIA and NHTSA will publish preliminary funding allocations for each of the applicants that meet the certification requirements, along with the deadline for the second application step.

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