The First Responder Network Authority is now looking for a new general manager to take Bill D’Agostino's place and lead the nationwide communications project.
Supporting the theory that First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) has stalled, the FirstNet Board announced on April 14 that it is now searching for a new general manager.
Former General Manager Bill D’Agostino resigned from the position due to “personal and family reasons,” according to the board, and Deputy General Manager TJ Kennedy is filling in for D’Agostino while the board searches for a permanent replacement.
“I have been honored to lead FirstNet’s management efforts over the past year, and believe the organization is now well positioned to enter the next stage of its development,” D’Agostino said in a statement. “Although I will no longer be part of the mission, I will remain an ardent supporter and look forward to its future successes.”
The announcement comes after the board voted in March to establish a “strategic roadmap” that is intended to “assist in developing a definitive business plan, along with comprehensive state-based outreach and consultation plans,” the board stated in a press release.
In February, it looked like two years into the 10-year mission authorized by Congress to bring a standardized, nationwide communications network for first responders, the network’s rollout was perhaps facing some difficulties. Contributing Writer Bill Schrier wrote that the project was beginning to bear signs of a software project that promises big things, and then never appears as it fails to overcome challenges.
It’s also possible, however, that FirstNet just does things slowly. The board only voted in October to establish its headquarters in Reston, Va., where the board has signed a lease for an office space that has not yet been occupied.
Many of the questions surrounding the network also remain unanswered. “We don’t know that yet,” was an answer frequently given by D’Agostino when Government Technology interviewed him last year, as he spoke of the project largely in theoretical terms. The success of the project will be influenced by state support, some say, and with so many questions left unanswered, it could be difficult for state CIOs to plan for the network’s arrival or to decide whether they will opt in on the project at all.