NATOA Nominates Member Everett Kaneshige for FirstNet Authority Board

Community, Top Issues,

NATOA was pleased to submit to FirstNet last month a nomination for Everett Kaneshige, Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC), Hawaii Office of Homeland Security, for the open seat on the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) Board.   Everett Kaneshige represents the collective interests of public safety communications in his home state, as well as in his role on the FCC’s Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), where he has represented NATOA’s local government membership since September 2021. Mr. Kaneshige is also the representative for his state on the National Council of Statewide Interoperability Coordinators (NCSWIC) through the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) where he coordinates activities designed to ensure the highest level of public safety communications and to enhance the response capabilities of public safety responders by coordinating and collaborating with federal, state, local, and tribal public safety agencies and non-governmental organizations.  In addition, he chairs the Advisory Committee for the State of Hawaii’s Enhanced 911 Board.


FIRSTNET Background

The First Responder Network Authority, or the FirstNet Authority, is an independent agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) that oversees FirstNet, the nation’s communications network dedicated to emergency responders and the public safety community.

The FirstNet Authority was established in light of September 11, 2001 to create a single, nationwide broadband network specifically for first responders. The tragedies of September 11 revealed fundamental problems with communication systems used by our nation’s first responders. Radios relied on by police, fire, and paramedics did not easily operate across different agencies. Land and mobile phone lines were overwhelmed by a high volume of calls. First responders struggled to communicate with each other.

In the years after September 11, the public safety community worked diligently to urge Congress to pass legislation establishing a single nationwide network allowing all public safety agencies to communicate. The Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 allocated $7 billion and 20 megahertz of broadband spectrum to establish a network for first responders and to create the FirstNet Authority.

The FirstNet Authority collaborates with local, state, federal and tribal public safety in every state and U.S. territory to understand and incorporate their unique communication needs into the plans for FirstNet. The FirstNet mission, as mandated by Congress, is to oversee the buildout, deployment, and operation of the nationwide public safety broadband network called FirstNet.