Vermont Public Safety Broadband Commission Guiding Principles

Vermont believes that it was the intent of Congress to build a nationwide public safety network for all public safety entities. With this intent, Vermont expects FirstNet to build an LTE network statewide at the sole cost of FirstNet. Vermont believes that if a state that opted out cannot implement their RAN, FirstNet should then consider that state as an opt-in state because a nationwide network is the goal.

Vermont believes that the cost of “access to the FirstNet network’ and “use of the FirstNet services” be at a price that is affordable [1] to the local public safety entities.

The network proposed for Vermont must serve the coverage, capacity, operational, and technical requirements for all of Vermont’s public safety entities.

Vermont does not support any action by FirstNet or other states that will drive up the cost of building the network and diminish coverage, functionality, and interoperability, especially in rural states.

Any public safety device should have the ability to seamlessly roam over FirstNet and commercial networks to ensure operability and interoperability. Vermont would prefer vendor agnostic subscriber units but could accept proprietary operating systems on devices as long as the interface to the network is standardized. Vermont believes that proprietary systems should not be excluded as long as they can connect to the network using a standardized interface.

Vermont believes that the state plan sent to the Governor for build out in that State and the Governor’s decision to participate in the build out does not constitute an “offer and acceptance” to create a contract. The fees associated with the network cannot be binding on all public safety entities within the state because those fees will not be accurately known at the time of the plan. Therefore, there cannot be an assumption made that all potential subscribers in the state will participate in the network. An expensive network is of little value to the public safety community and any costs associated with the FirstNet build of the core network will compound the public safety community’s already existing financial burdens.

The needs of Vermont’s public safety communities must come first with regard to interoperability of data and voice operation and functionality. Vermont embraces the concept of “speed of deployment” with regards to building the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network.  However, FirstNet’s interpretation of the language of this act should not mean it will move so fast that it will impede the states’ ability to make decisions based on the needs of the state and its’ practitioner community. Vermont believes that FirstNet should not impose requirements beyond the minimum requirements for the RAN out of concern these additional requirements may hinder the timely development and use of the network and associated devices.

Vermont is supportive of broadly considering users of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network. The use of the network to a variety of users who pay fees may help reduce the costs of the network to traditional public safety entities. Vermont agrees that the pool of secondary user usage should not be limited, especially given that a secondary user will be required to enter into a leasing agreement that should detail the preemption policy and will allow for the collection of fees. Vermont believes that the term Public Safety should not be construed in a manner that constrains the pool of potential public safety entities. Vermont does not believe that an individual “per se” should be considered a user of the network. An individual must be affiliated with a public safety entity.

Vermont believes the only way to build a national network with the available funding is to leverage existing infrastructure.

Vermont believes that open, transparent and competitive RFP’s and acquisition of products is in keeping with best practices related to procurements.



[1] Affordable as used in this context means access to the network that is at a cost that is equal to or less than what is paid by Vermont public safety entities now.


The FirstNet project is housed within the Radio Technology Services unit of the Department of Public Safety.

Public Safety Broadband Network Commission
Department of Public Safety
45 State Drive Waterbury, VT 05671
(802) 241-5535/ Email the PSBC

Email the PSBC Chair:

Visit the federal government FirstNet Authority web site at:

Visit the commercial AT&T FirstNet subscriber web site at:

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