FirstNet 2024 budget approved

The First Responder Network Authority board has approved $451 million funding for the 2024 fiscal year.

The board, which met in Tacoma, Washington, earlier this week, approved $95 million for the authority’s operating budget and another $95 million for reserves. Two-hundred and sixty-one million dollars meanwhile, will go towards “investments in network coverage and emerging technologies.”

FirstNet Authority board chair, Richard Carrizzo, said: “This demonstrates [the authority’s] commitment to advance FirstNet beyond the initial buildout phase. This budget will enable our organisation to continue to engage with, and advocate for, the nation’s public safety community, making sure the network continues to evolve and meet their emerging needs.”

FirstNet Authority executive director and CEO, Joe Wassel, said: “Our top priorities for the coming year include the development of a ten-year investment plan to advance 5G and coverage on the network, as well as strengthening our programs for public safety education, training, awareness, and oversight of the network contract.”

According to statistics released by authority, FirstNet is currently used by more than 26,000 public safety organisations in the United States. The FirstNet Authority has recently invested in in-building coverage, deployable assets and “initial generational upgrades to the network core for 5G capabilities and beyond.”