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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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Working to Ensure Americans Remain Connected When Disaster Strikes

May 30, 2014

With the start of summer comes the beginning of the hurricane season along much of the U.S. coast.  And with hurricanes comes the increased possibility that communications could be disrupted.

Less than two years ago, Hurricane Sandy left a trail of death and destruction including disrupted communications for millions of people and thousands of businesses along the East Coast. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reported that about a quarter of cell sites across 10 states and the District of Columbia were knocked out of service during the peak of the storm.

As the Executive Branch agency primarily responsible for advising the President on telecommunications and information issues, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has been working with other federal agencies to help Americans remain connected in the wake of natural disasters or other emergencies.

In its report released last August, the White House’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force called on NTIA and the U.S. Department of Energy to work with the FCC to develop recommendations that help facilitate improved resiliency for cell phone towers, data centers and other critical communications infrastructure in the event of a power disruption following a disaster. NTIA and the Energy Department expect to complete the recommendations later this year.   

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Notice of June 2-3 FirstNet Meetings

June 02, 2014

On June 2, 2014 between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time there will be sequential meetings of FirstNet’s four Board Committees: (1) Governance and Personnel; (2) Outreach; (3) Technology; and (4) Finance. The full FirstNet Board will hold a meeting on June 3, 2014, between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time. Board members will meet in Ballroom 4 of the Westin Westminster Hotel, 10600 Westminster Boulevard, Westminster, CO 80020.

Notice of Recruitment of FirstNet Board Members

May 05, 2014

NTIA issues this Notice on behalf of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) as part of the annual process to seek expressions of interest from individuals who would like to serve on the FirstNet Board.  Four of the 12 appointments of non-permanent members to the FirstNet Board are expiring in August 2014.  NTIA issues this Notice to obtain expressions of interest in the event the Secretary must fill any vacancies arising on the Board.  Expressions of interest will be accepted until May 23, 2014. 

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