FirstNet Economic Impact Study: Network Deployment Drives Job Creation, Generates Over $5 Billion in Wages and Salaries

Study estimates FirstNet development created an average of nearly 14,000 jobs per year over a 7-year period.


RESTON, VA – The deployment of FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network, is estimated to have created thousands of jobs and generated $5.6 billion in wages and salaries to date, according to a new economic impact study developed for the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority).

“This study estimates the significant impact FirstNet is having on the nation’s economy,” said Chief Richard Carrizzo, FirstNet Authority Board Chair. “FirstNet is transforming the way first responders communicate and creating a new marketplace for public safety and other industries.”

The FirstNet Authority contracted Fors Marsh — a nationally recognized consulting firm that specializes in economic and market analysis — to evaluate the economic impact of FirstNet on public safety operations and the wireless communication market. The FirstNet Authority’s network partner, AT&T, completed the initial buildout of the nationwide public safety broadband network in 2023.

To assess the FirstNet network’s impact on economic growth, the firm examined how the deployment of Band 14 spectrum — the public safety spectrum on which FirstNet operates nationwide — affected jobs, wages, and salaries. The Fors Marsh study evaluated network deployment data between 2017 and 2023 and examined employment across several industry sectors.

Fors Marsh estimates the network development created an average of 13,877 jobs per year over a seven-year period. The study associated network deployment with an increase of $8.0 billion in net economic output across all industries and $5.6 billion in total wages and salaries for workers and households across the country.

“FirstNet is modernizing public safety communications. Based on this economic study, it is also creating positive ripple effects for first responders and their surrounding communities,” said Joe Wassel, FirstNet Authority Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. “We will continue to drive economic growth through our investments in network expansion and innovation for public safety.”

Fors Marsh considered FirstNet development to include installing Band 14 equipment on an existing cell site or the construction of a new cell site utilizing Band 14 spectrum. Fors Marsh used an economic impact modeling system from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and data on FirstNet development provided by the FirstNet Authority to estimate the net economic output, jobs, and wages and salaries attributable to FirstNet development.

“Our analyses demonstrate the estimated spillover effects of FirstNet beyond public safety,” said Justin Baer, Vice President, Program Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Fors Marsh. “Within communities, FirstNet supported enhanced communication capabilities for first responders and also spurred economic growth through the creation of construction jobs.”


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