FirstNet Hires a CTO

It's the third big change in executive leadership in a month, and it could be the change the project needs.

by / May 1, 2014

On April 28, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) announced the appointment of a chief technology officer. The announcement is the third large organizational change in the past month, following the retirement of General Manager Bill D’Agostino and the hire of CIO Jim Gwinn.

Ali Afrashteh will hold the CTO role, which is responsible for “planning and deployment of technology programs and initiatives," and providing expertise on strategic wireless technology and network operational planning, according to a FirstNet news release.

“He will plan, develop, monitor and coordinate the implementation of all network activities within FirstNet,” according to the release. “Ali will also ensure that technical systems, policies and processes are fully supportive of FirstNet’s mission to design and deploy a nationwide public safety broadband network.”

Afrashteh comes from an IT consultant background, working with vendors on wireless network planning, design, deployment, capacity planning, network optimization, and new technology development and deployment. He has held executive positions with Clearwire Corporation, Sprint, Nextel and PCS PrimeCo.

The recent hires could change things for FirstNet, as some have suspected the project’s ambitious goals are not being realized as quickly as was hoped.