In Arkansas, interoperability and supportive apps can be vital to public safety’s ability to save lives and secure communities, according to Kelly Gottsponer, Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Arkansas Public Safety Broadband Network.
Volunteer first responders are a crucial part of the public safety community, making up 69% of the firefighters across the country in 2014. In addition to use by full-time public safety personnel in each state and territory, FirstNet will be available for the nation's volunteer firefighters, EMS, and law enforcement officers.
By Jeff Posner, FirstNet Senior Applications Architect
If you know FirstNet, then you know we are focused on putting broadband technology into the hands of public safety personnel nationwide. What you may not know is that FirstNet also is leading the way on a host of public safety-focused technologies, not the least of which is in bringing to market the best possible software applications for public safety to use in emergencies and day to day scenarios.
“Broadband,” which commonly refers to high-speed internet access, has not only transformed the way most Americans communicate, but also how we learn, work and play. The advances in technology enabled by broadband over the last ten years have been dramatic. Mobile broadband has facilitated an era of smartphones and apps used to share data instantaneously – from text messages and videos to photos and live streaming.
Now, the technology industry is moving toward developing 5G technologies that will enable virtual reality, the Internet of Things, and more.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Public Safety Communications Research Division (PSCR) has announced a $30 million grant funding opportunity to accelerate research, development, production, and testing of key broadband technologies and capabilities for first responders.
This is the latest in a series of blogs highlighting FirstNet’s Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). The PSAC consists of members representing associations and agencies from all disciplines of public safety, as well as state, territorial, tribal, and local governments, and provides guidance and recommendations to FirstNet in carrying out its duties and responsibilities. Its input is invaluable to the development of the FirstNet network.
I joined the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) almost one year ago. Before that, I spent my 29-year career working to improve communications and data access. Getting access to data, interoperability, capacity and customer service are still issues that public safety wrestles with today. Most access to data is limited to computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems. Broadband technology is being used by more responders today, but it is still limited in availability and is often cost prohibitive.
City and County Managers have a vested interest in the development and rollout of the FirstNet network. These managers are responsible for ensuring their jurisdictions’ public safety agencies provide quality public safety services on a cost-effective basis.
By Dave Buchanan, Director of Consultation, and Brian Hobson, Director of State Plans
FirstNet has been consulting with the states and territories on the development of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network. As a key next step, FirstNet will use the feedback received and data collected to develop State plans for deploying the Radio Access Network (RAN) in each state. Between now and the delivery of the State Plans, the FirstNet consultation and state plans teams will continue to work with the states to prepare them for reviewing both the draft and final state plans. Meantime, to assist the states in the process, FirstNet has developed the following tutorial to highlight some of the major steps and considerations leading up to the Governor’s decision on the State Plan. This tutorial also identifies examples of the key officials and advisors that could be involved in the review process to ensure the Governor is prepared to make the most informed decision about deploying the RAN their state.
The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 created the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) as an independent authority within NTIA to provide emergency responders with the first nationwide, high-speed, broadband network dedicated to public safety.