Hawai'i to Transform Communications for Public Safety; Governor Ige Approves Buildout Plan for First Responder Network


August 28, 2017

News Media Contact:

Chrissie Coon (571) 599-0493

First-of-its-Kind Solution Will Spur Investment and Modernize Public Safety Communications across the State

Hawai'i to Transform Communications for Public  Safety; Governor Ige Approves Buildout Plan for First Responder Network

RESTON, Va., Aug. 28, 2017 – Hawai’i is modernizing communications for first responders in the Aloha State. Governor David Ige recently announced his decision to accept the FirstNet and AT&T* plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the state’s public safety community. This made Hawai’i the 16th state or territory to “opt-in” to FirstNet and bring advanced technologies that will help first responders save lives and protect communities.

“The FirstNet network will transform the way fire, police, EMS, emergency management and other public safety personnel communicate and share information, enabling them to better serve their communities during emergencies and day to day operations,” said Governor Ige.

AT&T, in a public-private partnership with FirstNet, will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for Hawai’i’s public safety community at no cost to the state. The FirstNet network will drive innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools for first responders.

FirstNet will transform the way Hawai’i’s fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel communicate and share information. Specifically, it will:

  • Connect first responder subscribers to the critical information they need in a highly secure manner when handling day-to-day operations, responding to emergencies and supporting large events like the statewide Aloha festival, which draws more than a million visitors each year.
  • Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the state during severe weather natural disasters.
  • Enhance network coverage for first responders, residents and visitors, alike, across the islands and coastlines.
  • Drive infrastructure investments and create jobs across the state.
  • Usher in a new wave of dependable innovations for first responders. This will create an ever-evolving set of life-saving tools for public safety, including public safety apps, specialized devices and Internet of Things technologies.

“I believe this is long overdue,” said Maj. Gen. Arthur “Joe” Logan, state adjutant general, state Homeland Security advisor and single point of contact for Hawai‘i’s FirstNet initiative. “The 9-11 commission required that first responders should have interoperable communications. That’s what FirstNet will provide to Hawai‘i.”

FirstNet and AT&T designed Hawai’i’s network solution with direct input from the state’s public safety community. This was facilitated through the Statewide Interoperability Governing Board, designated through executive order by Governor Ige. FirstNet has been meeting with Hawai’i’s officials and public safety personnel for several years to address their unique communication needs. This includes:  

  • Strengthening coverage and addressing communication gaps through investments in new infrastructure.
  • Giving first responders priority access to the network to help them communicate more effectively during times of congestion.
  • Providing first responders with access to dedicated, on-island network assets that can be deployed for additional coverage and support when needed.

"Governor Ige’s decision to join FirstNet will give emergency responders access to reliable, modern communications solutions they’ve never had before,” said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. “We are honored to deliver a high-speed network that will prioritize first responders and connect them across the Aloha State.” 

The decision enables FirstNet and AT&T to begin creating an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications. Hawai’i’s first responder subscribers will have immediate access to quality of service and priority to voice and data across the existing nationwide AT&T LTE network.

Preemption for primary users over the AT&T LTE network is expected by year-end. This means fire, police, EMS and other public safety workers will have dedicated access to the network when and where they need it – 24/7/365, like their mission.

“FirstNet will give Hawai’i’s first responders access to the critical communications capabilities they need when seconds count and lives hang in the balance,” said Bob Bass, president, AT&T Hawai’i. “AT&T has invested nearly $109 million in our Hawai’i network infrastructure over the past 3 years. With Governor Ige’s decision to opt-in to FirstNet, Hawai’i is paving the way for expanded and enhanced communications capabilities for its first responders and for the increased availability of reliable, high-speed wireless connections in areas with little or no connectivity today.”

For more information on FirstNet, please visit FirstNet.gov/mediakit and att.com/FirstResponderNews. For more about the value FirstNet will bring to public safety, please visit FirstNet.com

About FirstNet

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Chartered in 2012, its mission is to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. Learn more at FirstNet.gov/mediakit and follow FirstNet (@FirstNetGov) on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

*About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, business, mobile and high speed internet services. We offer the nation’s best data network** and the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider. We’re one of the world’s largest providers of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. Nearly 3.5 million companies, from small to large businesses around the globe, turn to AT&T for our highly secure smart solutions. 

AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information about AT&T products and services is available at about.att.com. Follow our news on Twitter at @ATT, on Facebook at facebook.com/att and on YouTube at youtube.com/att.

© 2017 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

**Claim based on the Nielsen Certified Data Network Score. Score includes data reported by wireless consumers in the Nielsen Mobile Insights survey, network measurements from Nielsen Mobile Performance and Nielsen Drive Test Benchmarks for Q1 + Q2 2017 across 121 markets.

For more information, contact:                             

Jeff Kobs
AT&T Corporate Communications
Phone: 214-236-0113
Email: jk4097@att.com     

Chrissie Coon
FirstNet Media Contact
Phone: 571-599-0493
Email: Chrissie.Coon@firstnet.gov

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