Answer: More than 1 million.
FirstNet, the nationwide public safety communications network from the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T, just reached a significant milestone. There are now more than 1 million connections in service on the FirstNet network, with more than 10,000 public safety agencies and organizations subscribed.
In service of its growing network, FirstNet has announced a new addition to its fleet of deployable tools used to bolster the network: FirstNet One. Designed for use in large-scale events like disasters, FirstNet One is a 55-foot aerostat (or blimp) that can be deployed to provide fast communication services to a large area.
The blimp has a coverage range that’s twice the size of other airborne communication solutions like Satellite Cells on Wheels and Flying Cells on Wings (COWS), because it can fly up to 1,000 feet. It is also more resilient, able to remain fully operational in 50 mph winds and remain aloft in up to 70 mph winds. And it can fly for up to 2 weeks before needing more helium, meaning it could be deployed for extended periods of time during large-scale disasters.
The FirstNet One will be available to FirstNet subscribers at no additional charge, and was recently tested in Tuskegee, Ala., to great success.
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