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This year marks the tenth anniversary of the legislation that created the FirstNet Authority. From our earliest days, the FirstNet Authority has collaborated with tribal leadership and organizations to better understand the needs of responders in Indian Country. We are working to expand broadband coverage into tribal communities that have historically lacked access to reliable communication services and offering advanced technologies to keep them connected.
First responders across the Navajo Nation are benefiting from FirstNet’s expanding coverage, boosted capacity, and new capabilities. FirstNet’s Band 14 infrastructure is bringing tribal public safety agencies nationwide access to the network’s unique features and functions.
The FirstNet Authority is continuing to bring the FirstNet's Band 14 service to rural, remote, and Tribal lands. As part of that effort, the FirstNet Authority is actively engaging with Tribal leaders to determine where they need FirstNet coverage most.
Bringing broadband to Tribal responders has always been a priority for the FirstNet Authority. When Board members visited the Navajo Nation – which spans Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah – they learned how deployables and expanded coverage are bringing interoperability to the tribe’s emergency communications. FirstNet has played an important role during major events like the pandemic response and a visit from the First Lady of the United States.
Indian Gaming Association, FirstNet Authority and FirstNet program at AT&T launch collaborative effort to promote best practices for public safety communications and coordination on FirstNet
The Indian Gaming Association is working with FirstNet and the FirstNet Authority to raise awareness of the benefits of public safety’s network to Indian Country. Through this collaboration, FirstNet will support the Indian Gaming Association’s members as they explore the best options for security and emergency response.
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) represents American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal governments and promotes the broad interests of Tribes and their citizens. NCAI has been an important member of the Public Safety Advisory Committee, providing input on the unique communications challenges Tribal first responders face.
FirstNet has supported New Mexico first responders through many events. From connecting public safety at the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival to covering tribal nations during the pandemic, agencies are experiencing the benefits of their network.
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.