As they responded to the terrorist attacks on 9/11, public safety professionals struggled to communicate with each other due to tech issues. Twenty years later, FirstNet exists to ensure this doesn't happen again.
Pennsylvania State University is expanding its use of FirstNet, AT&T's dedicated telecommunications network for first responders, to include all its police officers and key personnel across several campuses.
The company behind FirstNet is now offering its faster 5G+ option to public safety users in 38 cities. It’s also adding encryption from “tower to core” and creating a new coalition focused on health and wellness.
The nationwide communications network for public safety has come a long way since it started operating in 2018. New numbers from AT&T, the company hired to build out the network, illustrate how it continues to grow.
The company behind FirstNet has come out with four new solutions to help extend networks, boost signal, connect via satellite, allow for vertical location tracking and hook up radios with mobile phones.
A $92-million, five-year agreement is the largest commitment to FirstNet by a law enforcement agency to date, and the latest development in the competition between two first-responder networks.
First Responder Network Authority Board has approved the investment of $218 million to make upgrades to the national first responders network and prepare for future 5G capabilities.
Also, FirstNet applications like the e-Bridge app are being used to help first responders and medical professionals respond to the coronavirus pandemic by providing situational awareness and telemedicine capabilities.
Although more than 9,800 U.S. agencies are on board with the nationwide public safety communications platform FirstNet, a debate persists about the very issue that FirstNet is designed to solve: interoperability.