FirstNet is “Boston Strong” at the 2018 Marathon

By Michael Varney, First Responder Network Authority, Region 1 Lead

In the five years since the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing took place, Bostonians have remained true to the phrase “Boston Strong” – the two-word phrase that united the city and circled the globe in the aftermath of the senseless tragedy.

On that infamous day, thousands of spectators and residents can recall reaching for their mobile devices to frantically locate family and friends. Unfortunately, the high call volume saturated the local cellular networks causing signal delays and failed calls rendering mobile phones nearly useless. For area first responders on duty that day the consequences of poor network coverage and capacity was more dire — the lack of a reliable network delayed the ability to share the images and videos that ultimately helped to identify the alleged perpetrators.

Looking back on 2013, we learned that video and data changed the communications landscape for emergency response. As security preparations were underway for the 2018 Boston Marathon, FirstNet, the first nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety, was in place to bolster emergency communications for first responders.

This article appears on  firstnet.gov  dated May 2, 2018

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