Michigan's Public Safety Broadband Program

This site provides an overview of the Michigan Public Safety Broadband Program (MiPSB), which is being established to support Michigan's role in the national endeavor to build a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) for First Responders.

Game-Changing Potential for Public Safety!

The overall initiative is often described as "putting today's broadband wireless technologies in the hands of First Responders."  Although many public safety agencies use commercial wireless technologies today, the NPSBN is envisioned to better meet the needs of the Public Safety user.

The underlying technology, called "4G LTE," is today's state-of-the-art wireless technology that is being aggressively deployed worldwide. Major US cellular operators are deploying 4G LTE across the country; indeed, many of you may already be using it for your data service today.  The Public Safety version, Public Safety LTE (PS LTE), has the promise of delivering game changing capabilities to First Responders, including:  better and faster field situational awareness, live full-motion video and expanded database access capabilities. More importantly, the network is envisioned to be "tuned" to the needs of Public Safety users by being dedicated, secured, optimized and designed to meet the challenging demands of Public Safety and government users - demands and needs which are often at odds with those of commercial cellular.

Key Takeaways                                                                                   

Congress Gave PS Spectrum, Funding and a Nationwide Directive - with passage of the Middle Class Tax Relief Act in February 2012:

  • Allocated 20 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum dedicated to Public Safety.
  • Allocated $7.135 Billion in funding, $2B immediately, $135M planning grants, and $5B from future spectrum auctions; and
  • Established a governance authority called FirstNet to manage and operate the network. FirstNet holds the nationwide license for the PS 700 MHz spectrum.
  • Mandated that the NPSBN be a "single, nationwide network".

For the foreseeable future, the NPSBN will support data services only, and cannot be expected to replace mission critical LMR/P25 voice networks, such as the MPSCS, for many, many years.

First Net logo

FirstNet has pledged that the NPSBN will:

  • Be "Public Safety Grade" so the network is available when it is needed most.
  • Maintain local management and control, including determining prioritization and access privileges. 
  • Cover the entire coverage footprint of the US states and territories, with a special focus on rural, tribal and areas underserved by today's commercial broadband networks.
  • Rollout the network to support both urban and rural needs from the start.

FirstNet is mandated by law to consult with State, Local and Tribal entities in the establishment of the network coverage, capabilities and requirements.

What is the State Doing Today?

Although the FirstNet Network shows tremendous potential, at this early juncture many issues need to be resolved and many questions remain unanswered. For this reason - the Michigan Public Safety Broadband Program (MPSBP) needs informed users and a strong, collaborative governance team to determine best course of actions for the State.

Current State efforts include:

  • Establishment of the Michigan Interoperability Broadband Planning Board, which is Michigan's Statewide Interoperability Governance Board (SIGB) that will govern and lead the MPSBP;
  • Application for a $4.1M State and Local Implementation Grant Program (SLIGP) to support initial consultation and planning.
  • Support of early consultations with FirstNet and overall program planning;
  • Initial outreach and education efforts;
  • Involvement and leadership positions with national organizations working on the NPSBN; and,
  • Coordination with other states' NPSBN teams, especially in the Midwest region.

This summary just scratches the surface of this highly complex program. We invite you to explore our additional information to learn more. Feel free to contact us for more information or a briefing to your team.