Quick Hits

*** FirstNet, the wireless communications platform created to serve public safety and emergency responders nationwide, now serves 9,000 local safety agencies, which account for 750,000 connections to the network, according to AT&T.

In an Aug. 13 statement, AT&T, which provides FirstNet’s supporting network, said it added 150,000 connections and over 1,700 public safety agency subscribers since May.

The company also said in the statement that its “Band 14” network that supports FirstNet now reaches almost 650 markets nationally. AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said in a July 24 earnings call that at the end of this quarter, his company was about 60% complete with its national coverage for FirstNet, which he noted is ahead of schedule. Because of that, the company has targeted 70% completion by the end of the year.

FirstNet also rolled out a technology and policy roadmap for the network that will advance the network core, coverage and capacity, situational awareness, voice communications, secure data exchange and user experience capabilities.

*** The President's Management Agenda includes a plan to improve management of $700 billion in government grants through standardized data, risk management, better measurement of program goals and shared IT infrastructure. On the shared IT infrastructure front, a request for proposals could be coming next year, according to Gil Tran, a senior policy analyst at the Office of Management and Budget.

Tran spoke at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Governmental Accounting and Auditing Update Conference in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 13. According to Tran, an April industry day to discuss ideas for a shared IT solution attracted 20 vendors ranging from small companies to major accounting firms. The Department of Health and Human Services was designated the lead agency for the Quality Service Management Office to support shifting grants management from an agency-by-agency affair to a shared service.

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