FirstNet at 10: A Decade of Dedication to Public Safety

By Edward Parkinson, CEO, First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority)

Broadband has become the lifeblood of our economy. It is also essential to our national security and public safety, a fact that first responders recognized many years ago. The tragedies of September 11th revealed fundamental problems with the communication systems used by our nation’s first responders. They needed a more advanced telecommunications infrastructure for their lifesaving mission, a reliable one to help them communicate and share information during emergencies and daily operations.

In the years following the terrorist attacks, public safety from across all disciplines, including 9-1-1, EMS, fire service and law enforcement, joined together to advocate for their own high-speed broadband network. In 2012, Congress enacted a law to create the First Responder Network Authority within the Department of Commerce to ensure the building, deployment and operation of FirstNet, America’s only nationwide public safety broadband network.



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