FirstNet Colorado Executive Summary


The First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, will be the first high-speed interoperable wireless, broadband data and cellular voice network dedicated to public safety, which will facilitate communication for first responders’ daily and in the event of emergencies. FirstNet will provide a resilient network with public safety-grade quality of service, and local control of prioritization and preemption, enabling access to applications and system coverage where public safety needs it most. 


FirstNet is being designed to improve and enhance data and cellular voice communications among local, state, regional, tribal and federal emergency services personnel. This dedicated public safety broadband network (PSBN) will help save lives and protect the health and safety of all Americans, using a single, mission critical communications system enabling force multiplier effectiveness, and built using Long Term Evolution (LTE), the most advanced wireless technology available today. Overseen by executives with backgrounds in public safety, government and the wireless industry, FirstNet is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).            

  In Colorado, planning and outreach efforts for FirstNet have already begun. Using ~$3Million in State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) and matching funds, staff at the Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) are actively working with the FirstNet Colorado Governing Body (FNCGB) to develop a strategic approach to the managing the program in Colorado. The FNCGB is made up from members representing the County Sheriff’s of Colorado (CSOC), the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police (CACP), the Colorado State Fire Chiefs (CSFC), the Colorado Municipal League (CML), the Colorado Counties Inc. (CCI), First Responder Organized Labor, the Emergency Medical Services Association of Colorado (EMSAC), Adams County 911 (ADCOM), Rural Colorado, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS) and OIT.
Phase I SLIGP requirements include:
  • Develop a comprehensive outreach plan to educate multi-disciplinary public safety, government and non-traditional responders.
  • Through an extensive outreach program, gather a comprehensive list of Points of Contacts (POC) from throughout the state inclusive of representatives from metropolitan and rural areas as well as the two federally recognized tribes in Colorado, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe. The POCs will work with FirstNet Colorado staff to disseminate information and gather agency data as needed.
  • Identify User Data Needs (existing and future) through completion of a survey tool identifying agency user data and existing wireless contracts.
  • Identify coverage needs (existing and future) through coverage requirement setting, modeling and validations at the county, Tribe and state agency level.
  • Update the Statewide Interoperable Communications Plan (SCIP) to include specific statewide PSBN goals.

Phase II SLIGP requirements include:
  • Identify comprehensive inventory of potential Broadband Asset for use by FirstNet.
  • Continuation of Phase I activities.

This information will be used by FirstNet and the FNCGB to develop a State Plan for Colorado, which will be presented to the Governor. The Governor will have the final decision about whether Colorado will participate in the FirstNet program or build its own PSBN to connect back to FirstNet.

Colorado is uniquely poised to be a leader in the FirstNet planning efforts for many reasons. First, the ADCOM 911 Center is home to one of only 3 pilots of a PSBN in the entire nation, which became operational in June 2014. The ADCOM 911 PSBN will provide dedicated 4G LTE capabilities to public safety in Adams County, using an Evolved Packet Core (EPC), Radio Access Network (RAN), and User Equipment (UE) funded through the NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). Additionally, the Public Safety Communications Research labs and the FirstNet Technical Headquarters are located in Boulder, CO. Lastly, Colorado has extensive existing infrastructure and years of experience with statewide system of systems planning and construction.

“FirstNet Colorado - Cutting Edge Communications for Colorado” - Additional information on outreach, data gathering, and other specific planning can be found on this website and on the national website