Fire Politics: 2019: From Communications to Congress

By Kevin O’Connor

Embracing FirstNet

It has been nearly eight years since the fire service secured bandwidth 14 (D-Block) and the creation of FirstNet through aggressive lobbying and advocacy. At times, it has been a tumultuous and seemingly never-ending journey in our quest for a dedicated, interoperable public safety communications network. 

AT&T was the only major telecom company to bid. Many attempted to entice other companies to bid for the business in order to spark competition and innovation and drive down costs, but no other major carrier stepped forward, and AT&T was awarded the business. AT&T now has a 25-year contract to build out and manage the system for FirstNet, and they are doing so.

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