FirstNet is the first nationwide infrastructure project dedicated specifically to enhancing public safety through an interoperable broadband communications network for first responders only, and progress is well underway to make this valuable system a reality.
As rollout continues nationally, we thought some FirstNet background would be valuable.
Stemming from the 9/11 commission report, FirstNet (or the First Responder Network Authority) is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Congress authorized FirstNet in 2012, and its mission, according to the FirstNet web site, is “to develop, build and operate the nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities.”
In basic terms, FirstNet will modernize communications for first responders such as police, fire and EMS. The network includes dedicated, interoperable public safety spectrum, with technology driven by a public-private partnership to help ensure up-to-date infrastructure on an ongoing basis.
Perhaps most significantly—beyond the improved communication of safety organization, obviously—is the personnel that guides efforts behind FirstNet. Leaders emphasize that FirstNet is “for public safety, by public safety.” Individuals from public safety organizations reside on the board of directors, helping to make policy and technology decisions that shape FirstNet.
The authority essentially functions as a large-scale partnership among public safety, the government, telecom providers and technology companies, and the public-private partnership is crucial to FirstNet.
Kaelus, PolyPhaser, Transtector and RadioWaves will provide a variety of infrastructure solutions to AT&T ranging from RF filters to backhaul antennas designed to build the FirstNet network. Look for more details regarding our participation in upcoming blog posts. In the meantime, you can learn more about FirstNet here