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:
- https://www.firstnet.com (open to the public – contains general information regarding FirstNet)
- https://www.firstnet.gov (open to the public – contains information more applicable to local and state government)
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)
IOEM planners have and continue to utilize 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. IOEM is currently participating in SLIGP 2.0 allowable activities as defined by NTIA grant stipulations. IOEM encourages all potential broadband users and planners to consider all available mobile broadband providers who facilitate networks within Idaho and the region.