Creating a radio network primarily for first responders has been a priority for years, and those tasked with its implementation say they are well on their way to completing it. Speaking at a recent conference in Washington, D.C., Larry Strickling of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) says the first such network could be up as early as August 20, Government Security News magazine reports.

His remarks come after Congress approved $7 billion for the creation of such a network in February. The ruling provided fire, police and emergency departments with 700 MHz of D-block spectrum. The network would make it easier for first responders to communicate in the event of an emergency and help them avoid confusion.

In an effort to provide first responders with the best possible network, Strickling is seeking the help of state and local governments. According to The Hill, the NTIA has around $135 million in grants and Strickling wants to know the technical needs of emergency personnel so the administration can better meet their requirements.

The process will not be easy, according to the publication. It's a complicated law, and even with $7 billion the NTIA will have to make use of commercial wireless facilities to ensure its completion.