Blog // Connect Nevada

NTIA Releases FirstNet Opt Out Guidelines For States

By Amanda Murphy

This week, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a version of guidelines for a state to use if it chooses to opt out of FirstNet’s nationwide LTE broadband public safety communications network. While FirstNet is leading the efforts to create the national network for public safety officials, individual states have the option to decline and to construct, operate, and maintain a state-owned radio communication network that works with FirstNet’s system once deployed.

NTIA’s recent notice and request for comment presents a process for how a state would request and receive approval for their own network operation, which includes submitting its opt out plan to both the NTIA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) before moving forward.

FirstNet is currently reviewing RFP submissions from private companies bidding for the partnership and opportunity to lead the nationwide network deployment. According to FirstNet, a selection will be made in November. Once the contract is awarded, a timeline for network construction for each state will be given to each governor, who will then have 90 days to choose whether to opt in or out of the FirstNet plan. If a state chooses to opt out, that state will then have 180 days to complete an RFP for the creation and operation of its own network, which will work with FirstNet’s system. Plans must meet certain requirements. If a state’s plan does not, the FCC has the power to reject the plan and have FirstNet take over the network build out.  

Read more in the recent FedScoop article.

Access the NTIA notice and request for comments.



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