What Is FirstNet?

FirstNet is an independent government authority established in 2012 by Congress. FirstNet’s public safety mission is to build and deploy the first-ever nationwide broadband network dedicated to first responders.

This Is Public Safety’s Network

The FirstNet network grew out of and addresses a 9/11 Commission recommendation calling for interoperable communications for all U.S. first responders. With the FirstNet network, first responders will have access to fast, highly secure and reliable communications whenever they need them. This will help first responders stay safe while they help others during both day-to-day operations and disaster response and recovery, and when securing large events.

FirstNet Law-Title VI Public Safety

Public Safety Advocate: Did You Know?

Public Safety FirstNet (Built with AT&T); Existing and New Radio Systems Most of you know why the public safety community worked so hard for the spectrum and some money to…

AT&T wireless growth keyed by FirstNet—now provides 24,000 agencies with 4.4 million connections

AT&T this week reported that FirstNet ended 2022 supporting more than 24,000 public-safety agencies with “about” 4.4 million connections, including 377,000 connections that were added during the last three months…

Truly “Man’s Best Friend” for Public Safety and National Defense

Our robotic dogs can support public safety agencies and organizations on FirstNet® – the nation’s only network built with and for America’s first responders. What has 4 legs, can recognize your face, and precisely…

Federal Reports

The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress 2017

Lennard G. Kruger Specialist in Science and Technology Policy January 26, 2017 Summary Congress included provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96)…

The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress 2016

Linda K. Moore Specialist in Telecommunications Policy June 17, 2016 Summary Congress included provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) for planning,…

The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress 2015

Linda K. Moore Specialist in Telecommunications Policy February 27, 2015 Summary Congress included provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) for planning,…

The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress 2014

Linda K. Moore Specialist in Telecommunications Policy March 12, 2014 Summary Since September 11, 2001, when communications failures contributed to the tragedies of the day, Congress has passed several laws…

The First Responder Network and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress 2013

Linda K. Moore Specialist in Telecommunications Policy May 28, 2013 Summary Since September 11, 2001, when communications failures contributed to the tragedies of the day, Congress has passed several laws…

Public Safety Alliance (PSA)

Public Safety Advocate: Thank You, Ed Parkinson; RapidSOS; Call for Public Safety Hall of Fame

Those who have been reading the Advocate for any length of time know I rarely feature individuals in my articles but when I do, it is to impart information that…

Public Safety Advocate: Data Interoperability Revisited, 4.9-GHz Further Proposed Rulemaking, 6 GHz

After the article about the lack of data interoperability across the FirstNet (Built with AT&T) network appeared last week in the Advocate, I received comments indicating that serious work has indeed…

Public Safety Advocate: Communications—The Systems Approach

BFN (Before FirstNet) and before Next-Generation 9-1-1 (NG911), the public-safety communications world was fairly organized. A few companies offered complete systems consisting of base stations, mobiles and portables, and radio…

Public Safety Advocate: NG9-1-1, FirstNet, and LMR

In early November, I will be at the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) Critical LTE Communications Conference in Chicago. On the second day, I will be moderating a panel entitled,…

Public Safety Advocate: Rural Broadband Update, FirstNet Authority Personnel News

Rural Broadband I write and speak about this subject quite often. The reason is simple. FirstNet is the result of a public/private partnership that continues to work well and is…

Public Safety Advocate: Passing the Baton

The past several weeks have seen some interesting changes in the FirstNet Board of Directors and the U.S. Senate. First and foremost, the passing of John McCain was very sad…

Public Safety Advocate: FirstNet the Authority and More

With AT&T beating every due date, dealing with its coverage issues head-on, and deploying Band 14 ahead of schedule, not to mention certifying new FirstNet-approved devices, sometimes we forget FirstNet…

Public Safety Advocate: Is LMR Old and Out of Date? LTE the Future?

For the past few weeks I have been talking with folks in D.C., states, and locally about FirstNet and if and when it will replace Land Mobile Radio (LMR) systems….

Public Safety Advocate: December, a Month of Opting, FCC Moves, Giving Thanks

December 2017 December is an important month for FirstNet, the states, and the public safety community. Already this month, we have seen more states opt in to FirstNet before the…

Public Safety Advocate: FirstNet’s Competition

The law that created FirstNet is very clear when it comes to states and territories opting in or out of FirstNet. There are two ways to opt in: The governor…

Public Safety Advocate: FirstNet Only Better!

A number of people within the various states and the public safety community are not happy with the coverage AT&T/FirstNet is offering on day one. Perhaps if they had a…

Public Safety Advocate: FirstNet Coverage

During the quest to obtain enough nationwide broadband spectrum for public safety, the Public Safety Alliance (PSA) and its member organizations worked industriously to convince members of the U.S. Congress…

Prepping for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network

The vision for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) is to provide comprehensive high-speed wireless communication services to more than 60,000 public safety and emergency response agencies.1 The First…

Nationwide Interoperable Public Safety Wireless Broadband Network

The leaders of Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) agencies across the country have joined together to form the Public Safety Alliance (PSA) to urge Congress to pass legislation…

Building a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network

Public Safety Alliance The Public Safety Alliance (PSA) is a partnership among the nation’s leading public safety associations, including the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International, the International Association…

H.R. 3630: Congress Enacts Legislation to Build a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network

RICHARD MIRGON PAST PRESIDENT, APCO INTL The PSA’s 3 Core Principles Spectrum – Reallocation of the D Block to public safety Funding – Provide sufficient funding to build the network…