FirstNet Momentum: Nationwide Buildout Progresses; Nearly 1,500 Public Safety Agencies Have Subscribed to Their Network
July 20, 2018 -- AT&T has been actively deploying public safety's Band 14 spectrum as part of our FirstNet build. The buildout will be validated by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) and will ultimately bring first responders the additional coverage and capacity they need. So far, Band 14 has been added to more than 2,500 sites across the country – with the process for 10,000+ more currently underway. And the first FirstNet-dedicated deployable network assets are ready for use.
FirstNet is the nationwide public safety communications platform dedicated to America's first responders. Being built with AT&T, in public-private partnership with the FirstNet Authority, FirstNet is bringing public safety a much-needed technology upgrade to help them connect to the critical information they need. Every day. And in every emergency.
"Since getting the green light to deploy Band 14 in March of this year, we've been moving quickly in order to bring first responders the additional coverage and capacity that only their network can provide," said Chris Sambar, senior vice president, AT&T-FirstNet. "What's more, the FirstNet build is based off direct feedback from the states and public safety community. So, each current or new site to get Band 14 helps to meet public safety's specific network needs."
Band 14 is nationwide, high-quality spectrum set aside by the government specifically for FirstNet. Once Band 14 is fully deployed over the next several years, it will cover 95% or more of the U.S. population.
- Band 14 deployments are underway in 50 states and Puerto Rico. And it's already on-air for testing in 40+ states. This includes California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas. Band 14 will continue to be rapidly deployed nationwide and submitted to the FirstNet Authority for validation.
- More than 1,000 new sites are planned as part of the FirstNet Band 14 build. This will help close rural coverage gaps in areas like Bedford County, Pa., where responses to emergencies have been previously challenged by a lack of connectivity.
- FirstNet Ready devices with built-in Band 14 access are available to first responders.
Plus, the first FirstNet-dedicated deployable network assets, such as Satellite Cell on Light Trucks (SatCOLT), are now available. These mobile cell sites can be deployed at the request of subscribing first responder agencies. They help boost first responders' connectivity, so they can more efficiently and effectively coordinate their public safety response during large events and emergencies.
The FirstNet-dedicated deployable network assets were used by first responders during several large Fourth of July celebrations across the country. The City of Chino, Calif., celebrated Independence Day with their annual Freedom Festival – gathering a crowd of approximately 15,000 people. Using a dedicated SatCOLT with Band 14, they trialed FirstNet to keep their officers connected at the furthest edges of the event. With the FirstNet SatCOLT, the Chino Police Department reported a significant reduction in latency of their drone video feed.
First responders recognize the unparalleled benefits of their network. In the past month, adoption has grown to nearly 1,500 public safety agencies across 52 states and territories. This accounts for more than 110,000 connections on the FirstNet network.
"It is great to see the incredible strides being made in the initial deployment of public safety's spectrum," said FirstNet Authority CEO Mike Poth. "There's still much work to be done and as the FirstNet buildout continues, we'll work hand-in-hand with AT&T to ensure that FirstNet's advancements meet the needs of first responders. No other network can commit to this."
FirstNet is an all band solution – between Band 14 deployment, the FirstNet-dedicated deployables, AT&T LTE bands and other technologies, like optional satellite coverage – it will cover over 99% of both the U.S. population and its geography. To learn more about the value FirstNet is bringing to public safety, check out FirstNet.com.
For more information on First Responder Network Authority’s public safety programs, visit FirstNet.gov.