Update on FirstNet – the nationwide public safety broadband network

Update on FirstNet – the nationwide public safety broadband network

This update together with this video message from FirstNet CEO Ed Parkinson, was provided to TCCA for the Association’s AGM held on 09 September 2020.

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) continues to move forward at a rapid pace.  Driving much of our direction for the organization is the FirstNet Authority Roadmap.  The Roadmap is designed to guide the growth, evolution, and advancement of the FirstNet network. Developed through several hundred engagements to collect input from public safety, industry, government, and the FirstNet network contractor, AT&T, the Roadmap provides a view of public safety’s critical communications needs and technology trends for mobile broadband communications over the next five years. The FirstNet Authority is and will continue to use the Roadmap to guide its programs, activities, and investments back into the network. Read the Roadmap at http://firstnet.gov/roadmap.

In June 2020, the FirstNet Authority Board approved the organization’s first major investments into the network for two areas: beginning the evolution to 5G with initial upgrades to the FirstNet core, and expanding the FirstNet fleet of dedicated deployables, such as SatCOLTS (Satellite Cell on Light Trucks).  Both of these investments were driven by public safety feedback the FirstNet Authority collected via engagement on the FirstNet Authority Roadmap.

Regarding network deployment, the FirstNet nationwide buildout continues to move forward ahead of schedule with more than 13,000 public safety agencies and organizations using more than 1.5 million connections on the FirstNet network. In March 2020, the network achieved a key milestone with AT&T’s release of FirstNet Push to Talk (PTT), a tool built according to 3GPP Mission Critical PTT standards. To learn more about FirstNet PTT, please visit: https://www.firstnet.com/mission-critical/firstnet-push-to-talk.html

For more information, visit http://firstnet.gov.

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