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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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U.S. Department of Commerce Welcomes New FirstNet Board Members

December 11, 2018

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross conducted the official swearing-in of seven new or re-appointed members to serve on the Board of the FirstNet Responder Network Authority. The Board oversees the activities of FirstNet to ensure that its public-private partnership with AT&T continues to successfully develop, build, and operate a nationwide broadband network that will equip first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities.

NTIA Closes First Phase of Grant Program that Laid Groundwork for FirstNet

November 6, 2018

As public safety agencies around the country take advantage of FirstNet, the first nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN), NTIA is marking the end of a grant program that helped lay the groundwork for FirstNet’s success.

In 2013, NTIA awarded $116.5 million in grants to 54 U.S. states and territories under the State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP). The funding helped prepare recipients for consultation with FirstNet, and allowed recipients to conduct stakeholder outreach to better understand the needs of public safety stakeholders.

In less than five years, SLIGP grant recipients engaged more than 350,000 stakeholders, facilitated more than 2,700 governance and planning meetings, and distributed more than 6 million resources, including guides, pamphlets, briefing sheets and e-newsletters.

Tennessee used their SLIGP funding to develop a “scorecard” website to motivate stakeholders to complete training that would prepare them for optimal participation in the NPSBN. Texas created informational videos and an e-learning portal for public safety broadband, which helped keep stakeholders informed and engaged. 

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