47 U.S. Code § 1426 - Powers, duties, and responsibilities of the First Responder Network Authority
(a) General powers
The First Responder Network Authority shall have the authority to do the following:
(1) To exercise, through the actions of its Board, all powers specifically granted by the provisions of this subchapter, and such incidental powers as shall be necessary.
(2) To hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the First Responder Network Authority considers necessary to carry out its responsibilities and duties.
(3) To obtain grants and funds from and make contracts with individuals, private companies, organizations, institutions, and Federal, State, regional, and local agencies.
(4) To accept, hold, administer, and utilize gifts, donations, and bequests of property, both real and personal, for the purposes of aiding or facilitating the work of the First Responder Network Authority.
(5) To spend funds under paragraph (3) in a manner authorized by the Board, but only for purposes that will advance or enhance public safety communications consistent with this chapter.
(b) Duty and responsibility to deploy and operate a nationwide public safety broadband network
(1) In general
The First Responder Network Authority shall hold the single public safety wireless license granted under section 1421 of this title and take all actions necessary to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide public safety broadband network, in consultation with Federal, State, tribal, and local public safety entities, the Director of NIST, the Commission, and the public safety advisory committee established in section 1425(a) of this title, including by, at a minimum—
(B) issuing open, transparent, and competitive requests for proposals to private sector entities for the purposes of building, operating, and maintaining the network that use, without materially changing, the minimum technical requirements developed under section 1423 of this title;
(C) encouraging that such requests leverage, to the maximum extent economically desirable, existing commercial wireless infrastructure to speed deployment of the network; and
In carrying out the duties and responsibilities of this subsection, including issuing requests for proposals, the First Responder Network Authority shall—
(A) ensure the safety, security, and resiliency of the network, including requirements for protecting and monitoring the network to protect against cyberattack;
(B) promote competition in the equipment market, including devices for public safety communications, by requiring that equipment for use on the network be—
(ii) capable of being used by any public safety entity and by multiple vendors across all public safety broadband networks operating in the 700 MHz band; and
(3) Rural coverage
In carrying out the duties and responsibilities of this subsection, including issuing requests for proposals, the nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband network, consistent with the license granted under section 1421 of this title, shall require deployment phases with substantial rural coverage milestones as part of each phase of the construction and deployment of the network. To the maximum extent economically desirable, such proposals shall include partnerships with existing commercial mobile providers to utilize cost-effective opportunities to speed deployment in rural areas.
(4) Execution of authority
In carrying out the duties and responsibilities of this subsection, the First Responder Network Authority may—
(A) obtain grants from and make contracts with individuals, private companies, and Federal, State, regional, and local agencies;
(B) hire or accept voluntary services of consultants, experts, advisory boards, and panels to aid the First Responder Network Authority in carrying out such duties and responsibilities;
(C) receive payment for use of—
(c) Other specific duties and responsibilities
(1) Establishment of network policies
In carrying out the requirements under subsection (b), the First Responder Network Authority shall develop—
(A) requests for proposals with appropriate—
(i) timetables for construction, including by taking into consideration the time needed to build out to rural areas and the advantages offered through partnerships with existing commercial providers under paragraph (3);
(2) State and local planning
(A) Required consultation
In developing requests for proposals and otherwise carrying out its responsibilities under this chapter, the First Responder Network Authority shall consult with regional, State, tribal, and local jurisdictions regarding the distribution and expenditure of any amounts required to carry out the policies established under paragraph (1), including with regard to the—
(vi) assignment of priority and selection of entities seeking access to or use of the nationwide public safety interoperable broadband network established under subsection (b); and
(3) Leveraging existing infrastructure
In carrying out the requirement under subsection (b), the First Responder Network Authority shall enter into agreements to utilize, to the maximum extent economically desirable, existing—
(4) Maintenance and upgrades
The First Responder Network Authority shall ensure the maintenance, operation, and improvement of the nationwide public safety broadband network, including by ensuring that the First Responder Network Authority updates and revises any policies established under paragraph (1) to take into account new and evolving technologies.
(5) Roaming agreements
The First Responder Network Authority shall negotiate and enter into, as it determines appropriate, roaming agreements with commercial network providers to allow the nationwide public safety broadband network to roam onto commercial networks and gain prioritization of public safety communications over such networks in times of an emergency.
(6) Network infrastructure and device criteria
The Director of NIST, in consultation with the First Responder Network Authority and the Commission, shall ensure the development of a list of certified devices and components meeting appropriate protocols and standards for public safety entities and commercial vendors to adhere to, if such entities or vendors seek to have access to, use of, or compatibility with the nationwide public safety broadband network.
(7) Representation before standard setting entities
The First Responder Network Authority, in consultation with the Director of NIST, the Commission, and the public safety advisory committee established under section 1425(a) of this title, shall represent the interests of public safety users of the nationwide public safety broadband network before any proceeding, negotiation, or other matter in which a standards organization, standards body, standards development organization, or any other recognized standards-setting entity addresses the development of standards relating to interoperability.
(d) Exemption from certain laws
Any action taken or decisions made by the First Responder Network Authority shall be exempt from the requirements of—
(e) Network Construction Fund
There is established in the Treasury of the United States a fund to be known as the “Network Construction Fund”.
(f) Termination of Authority
The authority of the First Responder Network Authority shall terminate on the date that is 15 years after February 22, 2012.
Source(Pub. L. 112–96, title VI, § 6206,Feb. 22, 2012, 126 Stat. 211.)
References in Text
This chapter, referred to in subsec. (c)(2)(A), was in the original “this Act”, and was translated as reading “this title”, meaning title VI of Pub. L. 112–96, Feb. 22, 2012, 126 Stat. 201, to reflect the probable intent of Congress. Title VI enacted this chapter and section 929 of this title, amended sections 309, 337, 614, 902, 923, 928, and 942 of this title, and enacted provisions set out as a note under section 1401 of this title.
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