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Published: Aug 27, 2012 3:00:00 PM
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Auburn University alumni Sam Ginn, '59, and Ed Reynolds, '70, have been appointed to the board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) by acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank. Ginn will also serve as the board’s chairman. The creation of FirstNet will allow for a new broadband network that enables first responders and public safety officials to communicate within and across jurisdictions.
"The board has a wealth of public safety expertise and members who thoroughly understand state and local communications needs. With Sam Ginn in the lead, we have an exceptional roster of wireless industry veterans who know how to build a network and develop a product that offers the applications desired by the public safety community at an affordable price,” said Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant secretary for communications and information and administrator with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, when making the announcement. "We are grateful that they have agreed to take on this challenge, and we are confident that they will meet it.”
Secretary Blank appointed 12 directors to the 15 member board, while the remaining three positions will permanently reside with the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Attorney General and director of the Office of Management and Budget.
FirstNet is an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and was created by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. Congress has allocated $7 billion of spectrum auction proceeds and valuable spectrum bandwidth towards deployment of the nationwide network and has also provided $135 million for a new state and local implementation grant program administered by NTIA to ensure the network meets wireless public safety communications needs. FirstNet will serve millions of first responders throughout the country and may also call upon existing commercial and government infrastructure to support the new network.