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FirstNet Authority staff engaging public safety at a variety of events across the country

Three years of public-private partnership for public safety’s network

March 31, 2020

This week marks some major milestones in the history of public safety’s nationwide broadband network. It was three years ago that we, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), entered into a groundbreaking 25-year contract to build, deploy, and maintain FirstNet, America’s nationwide public safety broadband network.

Since that time, FirstNet has expanded coverage and capacity for first responders in all 50 states, 5 territories and the District of Columbia. Now just two years into the five-year buildout of FirstNet’s dedicated Band 14 spectrum, AT&T recently announced that more than 11,000 public safety agencies and organizations are using more than 1.2 million connections.

The FirstNet dedicated core launched in March 2018, and it is providing the foundation for innovations in mission-critical standards-based features for public safety. It is the first-ever nationwide LTE enhanced packet core built specifically for our nation’s first responders. The FirstNet core separates public safety traffic from commercial traffic and supports FirstNet functions like quality of service, priority and preemption, and push to talk for LTE based on 3GPP standards. And the FirstNet ecosystem of devices and apps has continued to grow to meet the communications needs of the men and women who are working to protect our communities.

FirstNet Push to Talk

Our public-private partner AT&T continues to deliver America’s first responders much-needed public safety broadband infrastructure, as well as an entire ecosystem of mission-centric tools and capabilities. AT&T has announced the first-ever nationwide mission-critical standards-based push-to-talk solution to launch in the U.S. Push-to-talk based upon open 3GPP standards is a key milestone for FirstNet and public safety. The FirstNet Authority has worked diligently to represent public safety and ensure their critical communications needs were recognized within the global standards development process. We look forward to continuing to work with AT&T and public safety to evolve the solution and deliver the tools they need for their lifesaving mission.

FirstNet for every day operations and every emergency

Public safety fought for FirstNet to ensure they had a reliable connection to help them save lives and keep themselves safe. The success of the public-private partnership between the FirstNet Authority and AT&T over the past three years ensures the network is nationwide and available for public safety during all types of scenarios. We are proud to support our men and women on the frontlines as they selflessly serve their communities.