Now that AT&T is the official provider of services for FirstNet, the dedicated communications platform created with first responders for first responders is helping to enable simpler, safer, faster and more collaborative communications.
The FirstNet mission is to deploy, operate, maintain, and improve the first high-speed, nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety. This reliable, highly secure, interoperable, and innovative public safety communications platform will bring 21st century tools to public safety agencies and first responders, allowing them to get more information quickly and helping them to make faster and better decisions.
As of 2018, FirstNet and AT&T have a clear line of sight to deliver the only technology platform built for public safety officials.
How has public safety been involved in the vision for the Network?
Public safety officials have worked closely with FirstNet since its inception in 2012 to ensure the Network will meet first responders’ needs – today and in the future.
FirstNet’s outreach and consultation efforts have connected the organization to more than 1.8 million first responders and state public safety and technology executives across the country. Specifically, FirstNet has consulted extensively with state single points of contact (SPOC) in each of the 50 U.S. states, 5 territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as local/municipal, tribal and federal public safety leaders. FirstNet also coordinates with public safety through the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), which provides guidance and subject matter expertise from a first responder perspective. FirstNet worked closely with the PSAC and states to incorporate their feedback and ideas into key Network planning and development initiatives.
Why is FirstNet using a private sector partnership to build and operate the Network?
After the 2016 RFP and FAR processes (of which over 600 companies were identified and ready to support the system), AT&T was selected to build, operate and maintain FirstNet.
Now FirstNet and AT&T are poised to modernize and improve public safety communications by leveraging private sector resources, infrastructure, and cost-saving synergies to deploy and operate the Network. This public-private model also helps keep costs down for American taxpayers. To do this, Congress used the sale of communications airwaves (or spectrum) to fund FirstNet’s initial operations and help start network deployment; the $7 billion FirstNet received in initial funding came from FCC spectrum auction revenue, not taxpayer funds. Further, if the federal government were to build, maintain and operate this Network, the estimated cost would be tens of billions of dollars over 25 years: the Government Accountability Office has estimated it could cost up to $47 billion over 10 years to construct and operate the Network. With this partnership approach, FirstNet and AT&T do not need any additional federal funding to build and operate the Network – it is a fully-funded, self-sustaining Network. In return, America’s first responders get services far above and beyond what they have today over a first-class broadband network dedicated to their communications needs.
What's the process to get FirstNet?
As of late-December 2017, all 50 states plus U.S. territories announced their decision to Opt-In to FirstNet. Virginia made history when it became the first state to Opt-In on July 10th and Wyoming quickly followed suit that afternoon.
Now officials can contact a local FirstNet Specialist to learn more about how FirstNet will help public safety in its vital mission, and get information on rate plan pricing, devices, applications, and procurement options. FirstNet Specialists are available in your local area and ready to help ~ learn more at www.firstnet.com
Who can subscribe to FirstNet?
Subscribers can include primary user and extended primary users once a state opts-in. Primary users are public safety personnel whose primary mission and job is to provide services to the public in the areas of law enforcement, fire suppression and prevention, or emergency medical services.
Extended primary users are other entities that provide public safety services, and include individuals, agencies, organizations, non-profit or for-profit companies who are not primary users, but who may be called upon to support public safety personnel with the mitigation, remediation, overhaul, clean-up, restoration, or other such services that are required during the time of incident or post-incident. Extended primary users may be called on a temporary or on-going basis.
In the past week 4 more states have opted-in making a total of 40 states & territories on board with FirstNet so far. 12 states, 3 territories and DC still reviewing plans...
As of 29-Dec-2017 all 50 states, 5 U.S. territories and Washington, D.C have now joined FirstNet ~ read more
Public safety agencies in Virginia’s capital city of Richmond were among the first in the country to subscribe to FirstNet. In this video, city leaders and public safety officials explain how testing FirstNet and witnessing the network in action led to their decision to bring this next generation technology to their first responders, including FirstNet’s advanced speed, capacity, and improved interoperability. See below vid and read more on FirstNet.gov blog
My agency has recently switched to FirstNet. We are having trouble with the Mobile Hotspots on the devices. Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't. I might be the only one in the department that hasn't switched yet. I am with Verizon and am getting setup with their Priority Voice and Priority Data for First Responder's and I'm just wondering, has anyone else added the priority voice and data features through Verizon?
I have Verizon and it's working much better than before. On October 10th of last year we went through Hurricane Michael and our service went completely out. It took a while to get back online, but once we did, it was better than ever. No complaints here.