FirstNet board members today approved a program roadmap that will serve as a precursor to the organization’s ultimate business plan to build and maintain a nationwide broadband network for first responders while remaining within the $7 billion budget that Congress established for the project.

Not only does it appear possible for FirstNet to achieve its daunting mission, but the board members will have multiple options from which to choose, according to FirstNet General Manager Bill D’Agostino.

“We’ve evaluated a number of models, both financially and from network assumptions and solutions, in trying to assess our path to sustainability,” D’Agostino said during the FirstNet board meeting, which was webcast. “Based on what we know today, we have multiple paths to sustainability and a sustainable business plan.

“Our work is now to set out to validate our assumptions and further analyze the network designs and feature sets that we’ve identified in the roadmap … We’re looking forward to getting to the business of building FirstNet and the delivery of our mission.”

This sentiment was shared by FirstNet board members, including FirstNet Vice Chair Sue Swenson.

“I think we’re at a place … that we feel very good about the things we have to do and how we have to go about them,” Swenson said. “So, I’m pretty excited about this.”

Some observers of FirstNet had questioned the direction of the organization, which has not unveiled its network design or a business plan to date. The program roadmap is designed to help FirstNet achieve both of these key milestones, according to FirstNet Chairman Sam Ginn.