Wednesday, January 3, 2018

All 50 U.S. States opt in to FirstNet

All 50 U.S. states, 2 territories and the District of Columbia have now opted in to the FirstNet spectrum build-out.

FirstNet, in partnership with AT&T, is building the nationwide public safety broadband network. The effort to create a separate, dedicated network for first responders can be traced back to the communication challenges public safety experienced during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"With every state saying 'yes' to the FirstNet plan, America's first responders now have a nationwide interoperable network they can rely on 24/7/365 – like their mission," said First Responder Network Authority Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth. "I applaud these governors for their decision and congratulate public safety for its advocacy and partnership throughout the process. With more than 50 states and territories participating in FirstNet, public safety is assured of an enduring, self-sufficient network to serve them for years to come."

AT&T and FirstNet announced the following goals for 2018:

  • Increased coverage and capacity from AT&T's FirstNet build. Plus, access to mobile dedicated network assets that can be deployed for additional coverage and support when needed.
  • Launch of the AT&T-built FirstNet nationwide, dedicated evolved packet core network with end-to-end encryption. All FirstNet traffic will be routed through this multi-million-dollar core to give first responders the separate, highly secure, non-commercial network they deserve.
  • Access to a dedicated Security Operations Center, offering 24/7/365 support.
  • Roll out of a range of next-generation public safety tools. This includes mission-critical push-to-talk and device offerings, like BYOD, to bring value to urban and rural first responders.
  • Continued innovation with the FirstNet app ecosystem. This will be supported by FirstNet-focused hackathons in the new year to help fuel development.

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