Congress will step up oversight of a wireless broadband network for emergency personnel that has been plagued by criticism, a key Republican promised this week.
The FirstNet system is a wireless broadband network meant to be used by first responders during emergencies and for the day-to-day work of ensuring public safety. Its development is ongoing, but Rep. Greg Walden’s (R-Ore.) pledge to look into concerns raised about the program comes at a particularly pivotal time.
In the past year, the organization has faced criticism from two government watchdogs as its board drafts a request for proposals from companies that could build the network. Officials hope that they can finalize the request by the end of the year.
He noted that the first responders who will ultimately use the system have expressed concerns about its development. Some emergency personnel have said that they have not been consulted enough on the development of the system.