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Emergency Communication Networks

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety


Minnesota-FirstNet Consultation Project

The Minnesota-FirstNet Consultation Project (MnFCP) is a Statewide Emergency Communications Board-sponsored project to prepare the state of Minnesota to consult with FirstNet and collaboratively implement the NPSBN in the state. The project is scheduled to be complete in June 2016.

​ECN Gets National Attention

The hard work of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Emergency Communication Networks (ECN) division is getting national attention. Minnesota has gathered input from public safety officials across the state to best determine what they would like to include in a public safety wireless broadband network.
The network will provide a new communications tool to first responders assisting communities during a disaster or emergency.

Minnesota Hosts National, State Officials to Update FirstNet

Providing a new communications tool to first responders will benefit all of Minnesota which is why our state is leading the way toward a public safety wireless broadband network. First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) officials learned of the progress Minnesota has made to assess the needs of first responders and what they would like to see in wireless communication (learn more about this in the reports below). ECN Director Jackie Mines and T.J. Kennedy, the Deputy General Manager of FirstNet, held a day-long meeting September 24 to share important updates wtih FirstNet and key public safety leaders from across Minnesota. 

More photos of the event are posted on our Facebook page (click on the FB icon below) and on Flicker.

FirstNet logo
Read what Dave Buchanan of FirstNet had to say about the meeting on his blog page.   


MnFCP Newsletter November 2014

MnFCP Status Report Week of March 9

Minnesota Response to FirstNet Request for Information on Comprehensive Network Solutions and Statement of Objectives

Minnesota Response to FirstNet Public Notice on Proposed Interpretations of Parts of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012

Inspector General’s Audit Report on FirstNet

​FirstNet received the Department of Commerce Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) audit report on the Department’s administration of FirstNet’s ethics program and procurement of contractor support in the early days of their operations.  The report makes a number of recommendations regarding improving guidance and processes around the Department’s ethics program and contracting on behalf of FirstNet. They concur with these recommendations, many of which have already been implemented.

Sue Swenson, FirstNet Chair, stated:  “FirstNet is a unique organization, charged with a significant task – to build the first-ever broadband network for the nation’s public safety community. No organization has accomplished what we have set out to do. We acknowledge some administrative missteps were made in the early days, and we have taken and will continue to take steps to address them. I am confident that the FirstNet of today is on the right path forward for these and many other reasons.”

Project Goals:


The main goals of MnFCP are:

  1. Collect the requirements of the first responder agencies.
  2. Prepare the state and its stakeholders for consultation with FirstNet.
  3. Develop a sustainable financial plan for implementation of the network.


About FirstNet


ECN's Public Safety Broadband Program's mission is to bring a stand-alone, mission-critical public safety LTE broadband network to first responders in Minnesota. 
This program works in partnership with FirstNet (, an independent authority within the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration tasked with building a nationwide public safety broadband network. ​​



Wireless Broadband for Public Safety--FirstNet Training Module

A new training module, What is Wireless Broadband, is available on the Alexandria Technical & Community College website. It explains broadband technology and why public safety can benefit from a dedicated wireless broadband network. It reviews the Minnesota FirstNet Consultation Project objectives and timeline.



The DPS Emergency Communication Networks (ECN) division works closely with Minnesota Tribal Communities. Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Emergency Manager Monte Fronk joined Marcus Bruning from ECN to talk with other tribal emergency managers about FirstNet at the the annual tribal communities meeting at the Association of Minnesota Emergency Managers conference . FirstNet is developing a nationwide public safety wireless broadband network designed to improve communications during a disaster.



The State-FirstNet Consultation Process

Under Federal law, FirstNet is required to consult with each states 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 then either 1) approve of the plan, permitting FirstNet to beinor 2) opt-out and submit to FCC an alternate plan for an independent state-led buildout.




Request for Statement of Interest:  Public-Private Partnerships

Download Request for Statement of Interest: Public-Private Partnerships


The State of Minnesota, acting through the Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Communication Networks, is seeking statement of interest for Public-Private Partnership in development of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network in Minnesota from qualified partners and interested stakeholders.


FCP One-Pager

This document is a colorful, one-page handout suitable for handing out at conferences and meetings. It describes the high points of the project in a single document.

FirstNet FAQ

This document addresses the most frequent questions ECn has received regarding FirstNet and the Public Safety Broadband program.

Regional Kickoff Meeting Presentation Slides

During January and February, ECN performed 14 kickoff meetings in Minneapolis, Rochester, Mankato, Marshall, St Cloud, Thief River Falls and Duluth. These workshops were intended to provide an overview to local stakeholders of the entire project.

MnFCP Project Schedule

This document outlines the overall project schedule and deliverables for MnFCP.


2014 Minnesota Interoperability Conference Presentation Slides

ECN provided a number of presentations related to public safety broadband, FirstNet, LTE, wireless technologies and MnFCP at this conference. Find them below:

Download: "What is FirstNet?"

General overview of FirstNet and Federal, state and local roles and responsibilities.

Download: "LTE Technical Overview"

Technical session on LTE technology. Oriented towards a technical audience with knowledge of radio communications.

Download: "What is Wireless Broadband for Public Safety"

Overview of how wireless broadband will transform public safety communications, and how dedicated public safety broadband is different from commercial wireless data service.

Download: "Public Safety Broadband Application and Network Interoperability"

Description of how public safety applications and networks will interoperate on the public safety broadband network.

Download: "Impact of Broadband on the PSAP"

Session describing impacts to PSAP operations stemming from synergies between NG9-1-1 and public safety broadband.



Broadband Program Manager:
Jackie Mines, Statewide Interoperability Program Manager and SWIC
651 201 7550