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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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Diverse Small Businesses Discuss FirstNet Opportunities at Matchmaking Event

May 16, 2018

On May 9, 2018, the U.S. Commerce Department brought together more than 100 small businesses for matchmaking opportunities with AT&T and five first-tier vendors helping AT&T build FirstNet, a nationwide broadband network and related services for first responders. In March 2017, the Department entered into a 25-year contract with AT&T for constructing and operating FirstNet.

The matchmaking event attracted diverse small businesses owned by service-disabled veterans, minorities, and women, as well as firms that are part of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program. Commerce procurement officials from the Census Bureau, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and Enterprise Services shared information about upcoming federal contracts.

NTIA Gives 46 Grant Awards to States and Territories to Plan for FirstNet Deployment

May 2, 2018

NTIA is pleased to announce it has completed making 46 grant awards under the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) 2.0, which will help states and territories prepare for FirstNet’s buildout of the nationwide public safety broadband network. NTIA announced the initial awards on March 1, 2018, to 12 states, and continued making additional SLIGP 2.0 grants in March and April. 

The grants are an outgrowth of The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, which directed NTIA to establish a grant program to assist states and territories with planning for FirstNet, a nationwide wireless broadband network for public safety that that launched last year under the leadership of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Between July 2013 and June 2014, NTIA awarded $116.5 million in grants to 54 U.S. states and territories to consult with FirstNet and perform outreach to public safety stakeholders.

Recruitment of First Responder Network Authority Board Members

April 19, 2018

NTIA issues this Notice on behalf of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to initiate the annual process to seek expressions of interest from individuals who would like to serve on the FirstNet Board. One of the 12 appointments of nonpermanent members to the FirstNet Board, expiring August 2019, is currently vacant. Additionally, four of the 12 appointments of nonpermanent members to the FirstNet Board expire in August 2018, creating a total of five available appointments to the FirstNet Board.

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