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Change is Coming for Emergency Responders - FirstNet and Your Jurisdiction

Posted by Green Mountain on June 09,2017

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Across the country, millions of first responders serve the public every day risking their lives to serve and protect. FirstNet is a nationwide public safety broadband network designed to provide them with the technology and ability to collaborate on a whole new level.The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 created the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to provide emergency responders with the first nationwide, high-speed, broadband network dedicated to public safety. Thanks to the establishment of FirstNet by the U.S. Department of Commerce, there are many positive changes coming in how emergency response personnel will be able to communicate across disciplines, departments and localities.

With a stated mission of creating a seamless and accessible Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN), FirstNet is aggressively implementing a new communications network to help protect the public. According to FirstNet Vice Chair Jeff Johnson after about five years of planning, FirstNet will soon be meeting with each state to discuss how to implement the system locally. As he says,

“Communications is essential to keeping the public safe and protecting our communities. Technology can help fire fighters share information and ensure an efficient, effective response with when the call comes in.”

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) was originally established because the public safety community recognized the need to interoperate across jurisdictions and departments while leveraging wireless broadband technologies. As a network dedicated to first responders, FirstNet will modernize communications and include many special features designed to improve situational awareness and keep both responders and public safer.

FirstNet Partners with AT&T

FirstNet also recently announced an innovative partnership with AT&T to help them deploy the new network across the entire country. AT&T was selected to design, build and operate the network on behalf of FirstNet and has committed to investing $40B to build out the infrastructure needed to support every jurisdiction in the U.S.

FirstNet says the network will be available to all first responders including EMS, medical, fire, and law enforcement personnel. One of the biggest advantages of the new network is the ability to share information in real time including live video feeds - as it is happening on the ground – so all fire, EMS, and law enforcement personnel have access to lifesaving technology applications and tools.

Johnson reports that the next step in the nationwide rollout is to deliver plans to all 50 state governors by the end of 2017. States will have the option to join the AT&T network of develop their own program.

What FirstNet Will Mean to Your Jurisdiction

Changes of the magnitude proposed and being carried out by FirstNet will create both challenges and opportunities for virtually every local jurisdiction and every discipline. The impact of the new network will ultimately change how public safety operates mission critical systems. FirstNet will offer opportunities to enhance or improve:

  • Voice Calling Systems
  • Boots on the Ground
  • Air to Ground Communications
  • Two Way Radios and Mobile Communications
  • Computer Aided Dispatch
  • Wearable Devices and Similar Technologies
  • Day to Day Operations
  • Planning for Large Events
  • Disaster Planning and Response
  • Tourism Impact and Crowd Control
  • Traffic Planning

Where to go for Additional Information

Contact your FirstNet Regional Lead or email [email protected].

Learn how Green Mountain Communications is working with the University of New Hampshire on a state wide Public Safety Broadband Network for the State of New Hampshire.

Visit the Green Mountain Communications website or call us at 603-717-7117 to learn how we can help you connect to the national backbone.