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Wireless Broadband for Public Safety

About FirstNet

The future of information sharing involves significant changes to broadband networks. One of those changes will likely involve devoting a portion of broadband to public safety during emergencies. DPS/ECN is leading the effort to provide wireless broadband to Minnesota public safety officials. DPS/ECN staff members are working in coordination with the national effort organized under the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).
DPS/ECN is currently: 
  • Collecting the requirements of first responder agencies in Minnesota
  • Preparing the state and its stakeholders for consultation with FirstNet
  • Developing a sustainable financial plan for implementation of the network

What Minnesota's public officials should know about FirstNet.

Minnesota FirstNet Build-Out Plan

A new, interactive map is giving us a better picture of how FirstNet will take shape in Minnesota in the coming years. 
The build-out plan includes five phases and details where the dedicated wireless broadband network will be offered for first responders. For example: Minnesota’s metro areas, state highways and interstates will receive first priority in phase one based on capacity needs. Some rural areas are also included in phase one to address coverage issues.
The plan has been submitted to FirstNet. The build-out will begin after an agreement has been made and a partner has been named. Access the proposed build-out map which is currently under consideration.


The State-FirstNet Consultation Process

Under federal law, FirstNet is required to consult with each state before beginning construction in that state. At the end of the consultation process, FirstNet will submit a plan to each governor for approval. The governor will either:
  • Approve the plan 
  • Opt-out and submit to the FCC an alternate plan for an independent state-led build out


*Click on image below to enlarge.

Image of state decision process for FirstNet


Minnesota Completes Public Safety Broadband Network Pilot

The project featured a public/private partnership. Read about it in this report

Emergency Communication Networks Director:
Jackie Mines
State Program Manager, FirstNet
Melinda Miller