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FirstNet Board Named


Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank has appointed 12 of the nation’s leading experts on public safety and wireless broadband communications to serve on the Board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). “For too long, America’s first responders have been hampered by outdated technology and incompatible networks, and the creation of the FirstNet Board is a critical first step toward changing that,” said Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank.


The FirstNet Board of Directors represents the interests of a wide range of stakeholders, including public safety; states, territories, tribes and localities; and urban and rural residents. They are:

  • 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, Telecommunications executive (retired)
  • Kevin McGinnis, Chief/CEO, North East Mobile Health Services
  • Ed Reynolds, Telecommunications executive (retired)
  • Susan Swenson, Telecommunications/technology executive
  • Teri Takai, Government information technology expert; former CIO, Michigan and California
  • Wellington Webb, Founder, Webb Group International; former Mayor, Denver, Colorado

FirstNet is congressionally mandated by the “Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012,” signed into law on February 22, 2012, to establish a nationwide wireless broadband network that enables police, firefighters, emergency services personnel, and others in public safety to better communicate with one another during emergencies and use new technology to improve response time, keep communities safe, and save lives.


Congress allocated $7 billion of spectrum auction proceeds and valuable spectrum bandwidth towards deployment of the nationwide network. Congress also provided $135 million for a new State and Local Implementation Grant Program administered by NTIA to support State, regional, tribal, and local jurisdictions’ planning work with FirstNet to ensure the network meets their wireless public safety communications needs. FirstNet will also seek to leverage existing commercial and government infrastructure for the new network.


Additional Information:

Fact sheet with additional Fact Sheet: First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet)
Fact sheet on the inaugural
FirstNet Board announcement
FirstNet Board
Member Statements
Information on NTIA’s public safety efforts:

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