FirstNet Authority Board approves $451M budget for FY24

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) last week approved its Fiscal Year 2024 budget, allocating $451 million to fund operations and consider network improvements. 

“This budget positions the FirstNet Authority for continued growth and success as we implement our strategic goals, working closely with public safety,” Joe Wassel, FirstNet Authority executive director and CEO, said. “Our top priorities for the coming year include the development of a 10-year investment plan to advance 5G and coverage on the network, as well as strengthening our programs for public safety education, training, awareness, and oversight of the network contract.”

FirstNet is an independent entity of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), tasked with ensuring the development, deployment and operation of a first responder nationwide broadband network. Since its creation in 2012, it has made numerous investments into that network, building coverage through small-cell technologies, expanding deployable assets for public safety use and upgrading the network core for 5G capabilities and beyond.

Last week’s approvals allocated $95 million for the operating budget of FY24, along with $95 million for reserves. The remaining $261 million of the budget will go toward investments in network coverage and emerging technologies. 

“This demonstrates the FirstNet Authority’s commitment to advance FirstNet beyond the initial buildout phase,” Richard Carrizzo, FirstNet Authority Board chair, said. “This budget will enable our organization to continue to engage with and advocate for the nation’s public safety community, making sure the network continues to evolve and meet their emerging needs.”

That network currently includes services for more than 26,000 public safety agencies and organizations and more than 5 million total connections. 

HPN News Desk

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