FirstNetNC is the program within the Broadband Infrastructure Office at the Department of Information Technology that represents North Carolina for the federal FirstNet project. The FirstNetNC office works to lessen the technological divide that exists between the general public and public safety.
The federal First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Authorized by Congress in 2012, its mission is to develop, build and operate the nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. FirstNet partnered with AT&T early in 2017 to start the work on the FirstNet Network.
In accordance with the law that created FirstNet, North Carolina was presented a plan on how AT&T proposes to deploy the network. This State Plan is now being evaluated by a task force comprised of stakeholders from public safety at the State, County, and Local levels. The State Plan is also being evaluated by Chief Information Officers, municipal IT professionals, and elected officials to give a comprehensive evaluation of the deployment. The FirstNetNC is driving this evaluation to ensure that public safety’s concerns are all captured. The Governor of North Carolina will be tasked with deciding to accept the FirstNet State Plan or to develop and Alternative State Plan. FirstNetNC has a goal to provide the Governor with all the facts to make an informed decision. The FirstNet Network is optional to adopt and every public safety agency will need to understand the pros and cons to this network to make an informed decision.