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FirstNet Board OKs $74M Fiscal 2018 Public Safety Network Budget

The First Responder Network Authority Board has approved a fiscal year 2018 budget of $73.5 million to fund FirstNet’s efforts to deploy, operate and manage a nationwide public safety broadband network.

FirstNet said Thursday the amount is 13 percent lower than the agency’s current funding level as a result of its public-private partnership with AT&T.

The budget also covers customer outreach, product marketing and development activities meant to help ensure the network will address current and future needs of first responders.

FirstNet and AT&T will work together over the next fiscal year to initiate the radio access network build-out for participating state and territories; test current and future network features; and deliver applications through an open application ecosystem, among others.

Participation under FirstNet is optional and 20 states and territories have accepted the authority’s network build-out plan to date.

FirstNet is an independent organization within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration that was established to deliver a nationwide public safety broadband network for emergency responders.

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