Two FirstNet smartphones measuring FirstNet connectivity speeds

Demonstrating Priority and Preemption in the Boulder FirstNet Lab

Experts at the Boulder FirstNet Lab in Colorado test functions and features of FirstNet to ensure first responders experience the network as designed and expected. For example, using load test tools, researchers can emulate 6,000 devices and demonstrate how priority and preemption work for first responders.Experts at the Boulder FirstNet Lab in Colorado test functions and features of FirstNet to ensure first responders experience the network as designed and expected. For example, using load test tools, researchers can emulate 6,000 devices and demonstrate how priority and preemption work for first responders.


A SatCOLT providing broadband support in an area destroyed by Hurricane Matthew; FirstNet One blimp preparing for take-off after Hurricane Laura.

The FirstNet Network: Prepared, aware, and ready for hurricane season

When hurricanes strike, the main and immediate focus for first responders is rescuing and responding to those in need of aid. Last season, public safety officials relied on FirstNet to sustain and restore emergency communications for many hard-hit communities. FirstNet is critical to our nation’s first responders who battle storms day in and day out – and to those who have placed their confidence into the network’s communications capabilities to keep our communities safe


Photo of a meeting room with people sitting and working on computers, overlaid with circles connected with lines, suggesting networking. Circles contain wireless network terminology: “5G; CORE; MCPTT; NTN; V2X; RAN; MCdata”

Scoping 3GPP Release 18 at Third-Quarter Plenary Meeting

The third quarterly Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Plenary e-meetings of 2021 concluded in September. Participants spent considerable time on preliminary scoping of the Release 18 (R18) feature content and schedule. Delegates also made good progress on the stage 3 (protocol) work for Release 17. The R18 schedule discussion ended with an initial agreement on an 18 month timeline that will result in a December 2023 completion target date. 


Emergency medical official using a tablet in the back of an ambulance

PSAC Telehealth Strike Team explores telehealth use cases

During the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth services helped patients and medical providers connect in real-time in a safe setting. In light of this, the FirstNet Authority Public Safety Advisory Committee Telehealth Strike Team re-examined the widespread adoption of telehealth services and identified emerging telehealth case studies that may save lives, streamline medical services, and ensure quality patient care.

A man standing in front of a compact rapid deployable; a group photo of public safety and FirstNet Authority personnel at the Red Cliffs tower groundbreaking; a crane digging ground

The impact of FirstNet on tribal communities in a post 9/11 world

First responders’ inability to communicate after the 9/11 attacks underscored significant public safety communication shortfalls nationwide – including on tribal lands. The FirstNet Authority is working to bring FirstNet’s unique capabilities to tribal communities that are historically prone to communication challenges.


A paramedic stands near an incident scene

Celebrating our Nation’s First Responders

First responders bravely and selflessly protect and serve our communities every day. On National First Responders Day, we take time to celebrate and honor their dedication. The FirstNet Authority is proud to serve the men and women of public safety with innovative solutions that can make their jobs easier, more efficient, and safer.


A firefighter ascends a flaming stairwell

The Benefits of Z-Axis Through FirstNet

The FirstNet Authority continuously works with public safety across the country to evolve the FirstNet network. One of the key capabilities that public safety requested during the planning phase of FirstNet was the ability to determine the Z-axis, or vertical axis, location of personnel. This service is now available in a growing number of areas on the FirstNet network for the nation’s first responders.


An Indiana County Emergency Management vehicle sits in a parking lot at sunset.

FirstNet Enables Remote Training, Enhanced Mapping Capabilities for Emergency Management in Pennsylvania

The Indiana County Emergency Management Agency in Pennsylvania is responsible for emergency management in the county and oversees emergency communication operations for the county’s public safety agencies. FirstNet provides personnel with connectivity in the most remote parts of the county, and the network enables advanced capabilities for first responders, such as remote training and enhanced location and mapping services.


A phone, laptop, hot spot, and other dispatching equipment sit on a table.

FirstNet becomes a game changer for Palm Beach County 9-1-1 during the Pandemic

Palm Beach County 9-1-1 in Florida answers roughly 10,000 calls per month, making reliable connectivity critical to serving the community. When the pandemic hit, this became even more important as call takers and dispatchers needed remote capabilities to stay safe. The agency is using FirstNet to keep staff connected through SIM cards in routers, on 9-1-1 busses, and in “go-bags” that enable remote capabilities.


Computer screen showing status of homes during a natural disaster

FirstNet Authority Supports SMART emergency management practices through planning, preparedness programs

Emergency management agencies are turning to the FirstNet Authority’s planning tools and support mechanisms — including an exercise inject catalog, event pre-planning program, and post incident/event review process — to help emergency managers and other public safety officials integrate broadband into their daily operations and emergency response. Through collaborative efforts with our team, responders across the nation are leveraging these offerings as part of their SMART approach to emergency management.


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