Reaching rural America has always been a top priority for the FirstNet Authority as we build a nationwide public safety broadband network. We spoke with members of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO), who are using FirstNet on their cell phones and their mobile data computers, to hear their feedback about the network buildout and learn more about their operational needs as they protect a community of 600,000 people spread out in mostly rural areas. 

Emergency Management professionals across the country are using FirstNet for many aspects of emergency planning and response, including in emergency operation centers, for incident management teams, in exercises and drills, and with deployables.

This week marks some major milestones in the history of public safety’s nationwide broadband network.

At the March 2020 FirstNet Authority Board and Committee Meeting, updates were made to the Public Safety Advisory Committee’s (PSAC) charter to improve the PSAC’s operations in order to best support the FirstNet network and the first responder community.

At the annual Winter Institute Workshop and Exercise, hosted by the Texas A&M University’s Internet 2 Technology Evaluation Center (ITEC), public safety officials evaluate technologies in real-life scenarios to help shape future technologies and research. During the 2020 exercise, participants practiced integrating new technologies, including a FirstNet deployable, into disaster operations during a simulated cyberattack.