Jim Bugel

Vice President - FirstNet Program
FirstNet Program at AT&T
With over 30 years of experience in the wireless and wired telecommunications industry, Mr. Bugel has a significant background in public safety, national security, cybersecurity, and emergency preparedness. He joined AT&T from Cingular Wireless and has also held leadership roles at BellSouth and GTE. Mr. Bugel led AT&T’s efforts to reshape the public safety communications industry. Following the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation to create a dedicated, nationwide network for America’s first responders, Mr. Bugel worked with Congress and the nation’s public safety leadership to pass the Middle-Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 – the legislation that established the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority). The FirstNet Authority is an independent authority responsible for building, operating, and evolving the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (FirstNet). Mr. Bugel led AT&T’s complex and successful competitive bid to build the FirstNet network – a 25-year federal contract AT&T was honored to receive in March of 2017. Following the creation of the public-private partnership, he led and managed a nationwide campaign to get the Governors for all 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia to “opt in” to FirstNet. These efforts led to the unanimous decision by all 56 jurisdictions to “opt in.” Today, Mr. Bugel is responsible for all public safety broadband communications strategy and policy for the FirstNet program at AT&T. He oversees the Response Operations Group (ROG) that manages the nationwide fleet of FirstNet network deployable assets, which provides first responder agencies with FirstNet connectivity – whenever and wherever they need it. The FirstNet ROG deploys portable cell sites and other network assets to support public safety’s response to wildfires, hurricanes, the COVID-19 pandemic, search and rescues, and other emergency and planned events. Prior to his current role, Mr. Bugel was AT&T’s principal public safety and national security representative to the White House, Department of Defense, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency. In addition to his primary responsibilities at AT&T, Mr. Bugel served on the International Disaster Response Sub-Committee to the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy (ACICIP). He also has been actively involved in the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC). Mr. Bugel served as Chair of the FCC’s Joint Advisory Committee on Communications Capabilities of Emergency, Medical and Public Health Care Facilities, a past co-chair of the NSTAC Emergency Communications and Interoperability Task Force, is a former Vice Chair of Homeland Security’s Communications Sector Coordinating Council (CSCC) and is a Radio Club of America Fellow. Mr. Bugel received his bachelor’s degree in Business Science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He resides in McLean, VA.

Sessions by Jim Bugel

09:15 AM - 09:30 AM
Grand Ballroom A 

Keynote: State of the NPSBN

08:00 AM - 08:15 AM
Grand Ballroom A 

Opening Remarks


10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Ryan Burchnell 

From Vision to Reality Part 2: Moving the Needle


Once the legislation had past, what were the next steps to build and operate a nationwide public safety broadband network? Hear about the challenges and solutions to creating the first and only public safety broadband network, purpose built for first responders.

09:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Ryan Burchnell 

From Vision to Reality Part 1: Public Safety Advocacy at Its Finest


Hear how and why FirstNet was created and learn why this network is the public safety imperative. This deep dive will go into the history of FirstNet by those who lead the charge for public safety.