Yesterday's FirstNet Board meeting was much more eventful than previous meetings:
1. Allegations of Impropriety: Board member Paul Fitzgerald, sheriff of Story County, Iowa and president of the National Sheriffs Association, introduced a resolution outlining concerns about a lack of transparency, lack of input from public safety and potential conflicts of interest. Read the articles below for more in-depth information about his allegations:
Mutiny at FirstNet as board member alleges improprieties
FirstNet Board Member Voices Concerns with Process and Transparency, Other Members Disagree
2. Negotiating a Lease Agreement with Texas for 700 MHz Spectrum: The board announced in a resolution that it will negotiate a lease agreement with the state of Texas for use of 700 MHz spectrum in Harris County. Harris County has been operating a 700 MHz public safety LTE network under Special Temporary Authority from the FCC. FirstNet holds the single license for 700 MHz Band 14 public safety broadband spectrum, so a lease agreement is necessary to enable this project to move forward using that spectrum. Read more.
3. New General Manager: The Board announced the hiring of general manager Bill D'Agostino Jr. D'Agostino was most recently executive director of networks for Verizon Wireless in Southern California from 2008-12. He previously held executive positions at Sprint PCS, Airtouch Communications and Pacific Bell. He will take over FirstNet general manager duties from board member Craig Farrill, who served as acting general manager for the past five months.
4. FirstNet's first logo:
According to the FirstNet website, the logo "was created collaboratively with members of the FirstNet Board and the public safety community. The project began with the directive to create a brand identity representing the unification of the first responders served, as well as the strength, power, and breadth of the dynamic new network. The objective was to communicate it all in a modern, unique way. The resulting logo imbues these elements with strong, high-tech colors and clean lines. It incorporates symbols that represent key emergency responders, and brings them all together next to iconic wireless network imagery."