AT&T has been selected by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to build and manage the first broadband network dedicated to America’s police, firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS).
The FirstNet network will cover all 50 states, 5 U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, including rural communities and tribal lands in those states and territories. This public-private infrastructure investment is expected to create 10,000 U.S. jobs over the next two years from AT&T’s work for FirstNet. The network buildout will begin later this year.
“Today is a landmark day for public safety across the Nation and shows the incredible progress we can make through public-private partnerships,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “FirstNet is a critical infrastructure project that will give our first responders the communications tools they need to keep America safe and secure. This public-private partnership will also spur innovation and create over ten thousand new jobs in this cutting-edge sector.”
Today, first responders use commercial networks – the same ones used by consumers and businesses – for mobile data and applications. That can be an issue when a significant public safety crisis happens and commercial networks quickly become congested. It makes it difficult for first responders to communicate, coordinate and do their jobs.
FirstNet’s mission is to fix this. Through this new public-private partnership with FirstNet, AT&T will deliver a dedicated, interoperable network and ecosystem that will give first responders the technology they need to better communicate and collaborate across agencies and jurisdictions – local, state and national.
FirstNet and AT&T will innovate and evolve the network to keep the public safety community at the forefront of technology advances. For example, as 5G network capabilities develop in the coming years, FirstNet and AT&T will work together to provide the exponential increases in the speed with which video and data travel across the FirstNet network, according to AT&T.