Illinois Governor Rauner Approves Buildout Plan for FirstNet

“FirstNet’s technology will help us keep important lines of communication open when we most need them.”

RESTON, Va., Dec. 18, 2017 – Illinois is modernizing communications technology for its first responders. Today, Governor Bruce Rauner announced his decision to accept the First Responder Network Authority* and AT&T** plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the state’s public safety community. FirstNet will bring advanced tools to help Illinois’ first responders save lives and protect communities.

“Opting in to the FirstNet emergency responder network is an important advance for public safety in Illinois,” said Governor Rauner. “FirstNet’s technology will help us keep important lines of communication open when we most need them.”

AT&T, in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority, will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for Illinois’ public safety community at no cost to the state. The FirstNet network will drive innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools for first responders.

FirstNet will transform the way Illinois’ fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel communicate and share information. Specifically, it will:

Connect first responder subscribers to the critical information they need in a highly secure manner when handling day-to-day operations, responding to emergencies and supporting large events like games or concerts at Soldier Field.
Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the state during natural disasters, such as severe winter snow and ice storms, tornadoes and flooding.
Enhance and expand network coverage across Illinois’ diverse landscape, benefitting first responders and residents throughout the state’s rural areas.
Provide first responders with access to dedicated network assets that can be deployed for additional coverage and support when needed.
Drive infrastructure investments and create jobs across the state.
Usher in a new wave of dependable innovations for first responders. This will create an ever-evolving set of life-saving tools for public safety, including public safety apps, specialized devices and Internet of Things technologies. It also carries the potential for future integration with NextGen 9-1-1 networks and Smart Cities’ infrastructure.
The First Responder Network Authority and AT&T designed Illinois’ network solution with direct input from the state and its public safety community. This helped to address the state’s unique communications needs, including:

Expanding rural coverage beyond what is currently available from commercial carriers.
Offering affordable services to public safety across the state.
Delivering a network for public safety with increased geographical coverage, redundancy and resiliency.
“Governor Rauner’s decision to join FirstNet demonstrates his strong support and dedication to public safety throughout the state,” said First Responder Network Authority CEO Mike Poth. “We are honored to serve Illinois’ first responders and deliver to them a reliable, broadband communications network that will help them save lives and protect communities.”

The decision enables the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T to begin offering an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications. Illinois’ first responder subscribers will have immediate access to quality of service, priority and preemption to voice and data across the FirstNet network.

By opting in to FirstNet, fire, police, EMS and other public safety workers subscribing to the service will have dedicated access to the information they need, when and where they need it – 24/7/365, like their mission.

“Gov. Rauner’s decision to opt-in to FirstNet shows public safety is a top priority in Illinois,” said AT&T Illinois President Paul La Schiazza. “The Governor’s action provides Illinois first responders with immediate access to FirstNet’s life-saving communications tools, and we are proud to support first responders’ mission to protect the people of Illinois every day.”

December 18, 2017

News Media Contact:
April Ward (202) 853-5219 or (571) 665-6187


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