FirstNet in Vermont
FirstNet, or the First Responder Network Authority, is a federal agency formed to ensure the building, deployment and operation of the first high-speed nationwide broadband network dedicated to public safety. In Vermont, the Public Safety Broadband Network Commission acts as a guiding group to prepare the state for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). This network will provide a cellular type coverage to first responders, with priority and pre-emption features.
State Plan for Vermont
FirstNet has completed a state plan for building the NPSBN in Vermont. The commission continues work to evaluate this plan and communicate questions and concerns to FirstNet. One of the tasks of the commission is to prepare a recommendation for the Governor to either opt-in or opt-out of the FirstNet plan for Vermont. If the Governor chooses to opt-in, FirstNet and AT&T will build the network and assume all financial and technical responsibility for the NPSBN in Vermont. If the Governor chooses to opt-out, Vermont will take the responsibility for leading the building, deployment and maintenance of the network over 25 years. Nationwide, governors have until December 28, 2017 to communicate an opt-in/opt-out decision to FirstNet.
Commission Review Process
The commission review process is to (1) evaluate the FirstNet plan; (2) negotiate for plan improvements; (3) determine a recommendation; and (4) if opt-out, the commission will consider alternative approaches. FirstNet, the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration have outlined a multi-step process a state must take to opt-out. An opt-out state must demonstrate it can build, fund and maintain a system comparable to that offered by FirstNet for the next 25 years. Since the intent of this federal program is to create a nationwide interoperable network for public safety that is reliable and sustainable, opt-out states must meet stringent requirements in order to receive approval to build a network apart from the FirstNet proposed plan. Learn more on the opt-in/opt-out decision page of this web site.
Looking at Vermont's Options