Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

A server room

The FirstNet Core

The FirstNet Core serves as the brain and nervous system of the FirstNet network. It connects a variety of elements, such as the radio access network, which allows access to a variety of devices, including phones, computers, tablets, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Built for public safety

The FirstNet Core is the first-ever nationwide enhanced packet core infrastructure to be built and designed specifically for public safety. The FirstNet Core is designed to enable public safety capabilities and create a differentiated experience for public safety subscribers. It provides first responders with the foundation for mission-critical mobile broadband features they never had before. It enables features specific to first responders’ needs, including tower-to-core encryption, superior reliability and availability, mission-critical services, and network management tools like the Uplift and Advanced Network Status features.

By design, the FirstNet Core separates all public safety traffic from non-public safety user traffic. It provides the infrastructure to deliver functions such as superior quality of service to public safety, as well as the security and reliability public safety users need and expect. It is geographically redundant and monitored by AT&T’s Security Operations Center with a team of dedicated personnel who continuously monitor the FirstNet network.

Designed to evolve for advanced technology

Initial upgrades to the FirstNet Core to enable access to 5G capabilities were approved by the FirstNet Authority’s Board in 2020. 5G will benefit public safety with lower latency, the capability for connecting more devices, including IOT devices, and faster data throughput via access to millimeter wave spectrum. And because the FirstNet Core is central to all features and functions of the FirstNet network, the FirstNet Authority will look for additional opportunities to invest in the FirstNet Core’s advancement and evolution.