On call

Auburn Engineering alumnus Samuel Ginn, ‘59 industrial management and namesake of the college, has been appointed to lead a 15-member board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet). As the board’s chairman, Ginn guides development of the new broadband network, which enables first responders and public safety officials to communicate within and across jurisdictions.

“The board has a wealth of public safety expertise and members who thoroughly understand state and local communications needs. With Sam Ginn in the lead, we have an exceptional roster of wireless industry veterans who know how to build a network and develop a product that offers the applications desired by the public safety community at an affordable price,” said Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant secretary for communications and information and administrator with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

FirstNet serves millions of first responders and is an independent authority within NTIA. The network was created by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. Congress has allocated $7 billion of spectrum auction proceeds, as well as spectrum bandwidth towards deployment of the nationwide network, and has also provided $135 million for a new state and local implementation grant program administered by NTIA to ensure the network meets wireless public safety communications needs.

Ed Reynolds, ‘70 electrical engineering, was also appointed to serve on the board. He received Auburn’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s 2013 outstanding alumni award at the college’s spring awards ceremony in April. In addition, he and Ginn are both members of the State of Alabama’s Engineering Hall of Fame.

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