Today, Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, an early advocate for the reallocation of the D Block portion of the communications spectrum to public safety for the establishment of a national interoperable public safety wireless broadband network, issued the following statement on the appointment of the first members to the panel that will oversee the network's development. The 12 appointees of the new First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) were announced this week by Acting Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank.
King said: "As the first Member of Congress to introduce legislation to reallocate the D Block for public safety, I am pleased to see these appointments, which I consider significant progress toward the establishment of a national interoperable wireless broadband network for use by first responders as they work to save lives across the country.
"I am especially pleased by the appointment of NYPD Deputy Chief Charles "Chuck" Dowd, who has been instrumental in the long-running effort to reserve sufficient spectrum and funding for the establishment of the network. I am pleased to see that "New York's Finest' will be represented on FirstNet."
In 2010, during the 111th Congress, then-Ranking Member King first introduced legislation to reallocate the D Block for the development of a national interoperable public safety wireless broadband network. Last year, Chairman King, joined by Ranking Member Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and others, introduced the bipartisan H.R. 607, the "Broadband for First Responders Act of 2011." With Chairman King's vocal encouragement, Congress, pursuant to Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (Pub.L. 112-96), reallocated the D Block and established FirstNet as an independent authority within the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration to deploy and manage the nation's first nationwide interoperable public safety broadband network to be developed on the D Block.
In addition to the 12 appointments made this week, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget serve as permanent members of the Board. Additional information about FirstNet can be found at NTIA's website (www.ntia.doc.gov).
The 12 appointees announced this week include:
Tim Bryan, CEO, National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative
Charles "Chuck" Dowd, Deputy Chief, New York City Police Department
F. Craig Farrill, wireless telecommunications executive
Paul Fitzgerald, Sheriff, Story County, Iowa
Samuel "Sam" Ginn (Chairman), telecommunications executive
Jeffrey Johnson, Fire Chief, retired; former Chair, State Interoperability Executive Council, State of Oregon; CEO Western Fire Chiefs Association
William Keever, retired telecommunications executive
Kevin McGinnis, Chief/CEO, North East Mobile Health Services
Ed Reynolds, retired telecommunications executive
Susan Swenson, telecommunications/technology executive
Teri Takai, Government information technology expert; former CIO, states of Michigan and California; former President, National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO)
Wellington Webb, Founder, Webb Group International; former Mayor of Denver, Colorado