State Rep. Michele Hoitenga, chair of the House Committee on Communications and Technology, today offered support for a measure that will move Michigan to a national public safety broadband network.
The network, First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), was created in 2012. FirstNet will create and maintain a wireless broadband communication network for public safety agencies in Michigan during emergency situations or large public events that can cause current networks to become congested.
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley signed the measure in August. By accepting a state-specific plan for network construction and operation through FirstNet, there will be no cost to the state of Michigan for the project for the next 25 years.
Public safety officials will be able to tailor the network’s abilities to their specific needs. Enhanced and faster situational awareness, live full-motion video and expanded database access capabilities are all advantages of the new program.
Hoitenga championed the measure’s ability to increase and improve broadband access in rural areas.
“The continuing amazement around certain technological advances is made up of three core factors – how the technology better connects us all, how it improves our everyday lives and how it makes us safer,” said Hoitenga, of Manton. “This is a great opportunity for Michigan’s broadband service to take another step forward. As chair of the House Committee on Communications and Technology, broadband reform has been a prominent issue that we are continually looking to improve for the people of Michigan.”