In February 2012, Congress enacted the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The Act mandates the creation of a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). The NPSBN will create a much-needed nationwide interoperable broadband network that will help police, firefighters, emergency medical service professionals and other public safety officials stay safe and do their jobs.
The law's governing framework for the deployment and operation of this network, which is to be based on a single, national network architecture, is the new "First Responder Network Authority" (FirstNet), an independent authority within NTIA. FirstNet will hold the spectrum license for the network, and is charged with taking "all actions necessary" to build, deploy, and operate the network, in consultation with Federal, State, tribal and local public safety entities, and other key stakeholders.