Current broadband initiatives in Idaho include facilitation and education of the National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). First Responders Network Authority (FirstNet) was created in response to the 9/11 Commission Report on public safety communications interoperability. The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 established FirstNet as an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). This new network became available to public safety entities across the United States in March 2018. It promises to provide a dedicated high speed and high capacity network for First Responders (Fire, EMS, Law Enforcement, and PSAPS) with additional service options for extended users (Public Health, Transportation, Utilities, etc). This network is an optional service for Idaho agencies.
Links to FirstNet:
There is also a restricted State Plan Portal that has been made available to select public safety communications personnel. This site is closed to the public, central access roster is controlled by IOEM director, contact POCs listed below for more information)
- https://www.firstnet.gov (open to the public – contains information more applicable to local and state government)
- https://www.firstnet.com (open to the public)
From the period of 2013 thru 2020, IOEM planners utilized State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) funding to facilitate education, data collection, and collaboration between public safety communications vendors, governance entities, and users across Idaho. As of March 2021, this grant came to a conclusion. While no longer an active program, IOEM continues to monitor broadband growth specific to mobile network operators including the three major cellular providers in Idaho (AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile). We encourage all potential broadband users and planners to consider all available mobile broadband providers who facilitate networks within Idaho and the region.
- Brian Shields, Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) – firstname.lastname@example.org