Louisiana Opts in for FirstNet Communications System for First Responders

Louisiana will soon have a specialized wireless broadband network specifically for first responders now that Governor John Bel
Edwards has opted in to FirstNet.

Baton Rouge (September 27, 2017)- With this decision, FirstNet and AT&T* will deliver
the network to Louisiana’s public safety community. Louisiana is the 24th state or
territory in the country to approve this resource for first responders, providing them with
advanced technologies that will save lives and protect communities.

AT&T, in a public-private partnership with FirstNet, will build, operate and maintain a
highly secure, wireless broadband communications network for Louisiana’s 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.

“The entire State of Louisiana will benefit from this decision,” said Governor John Bel
Edwards. “From natural disasters like flooding and hurricanes, to other planned events
like Mardi Gras, hosting Super Bowls or other large sporting events, Louisiana has
many unique times when communications systems can become strained. We will be
working with our partners at FirstNet and AT&T on this communications network which
means deploying a true interoperable nationwide system for public safety. The sharing
of instant information will only become more critical in the future. There is a lot to be
done, but the system will ultimately help protect our citizens and first responders.”
The FirstNet network will transform the way Louisiana’s fire, police, EMS and other
public safety personnel communicate and share information. Specifically, FirstNet and
AT&T 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 football games in the Superdome
that draw tens of thousands of fans.
 Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in
agencies and jurisdictions across the state during natural disasters including
severe weather, flash floods and storms related to tropical events.
 Enhance network coverage in rural areas. This will benefit first responders and
residents throughout Louisiana’s diverse landscape, as well as those who service
and visit the state’s popular parks.
 Drive infrastructure investments and create jobs across the state.
 Usher in a new wave of innovation that first responders can depend on. 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 FirstNet system that will be built in Louisiana was designed with direct input from
the state’s public safety community. FirstNet has hosted meetings across the state with
elected officials and the public safety community to address their communications
needs. This includes:
 Strengthening coverage for large outdoor events, holiday events and festivals.
 Strengthening coverage in and around state prison facilities.
 Bring first responders access to innovative solutions that will help solve their daily
communications issues.
 Getting public safety personnel access to features and capabilities they need

“FirstNet is honored to serve Louisiana’s public safety community,” said FirstNet CEO
Mike Poth. “Governor Edward’s decision will deliver modern communication technology
to first responders throughout the Pelican State, making communities safer and
secure. FirstNet will continue to work with the state to ensure the network delivers the
coverage, services, and innovation that public safety needs.”

The decision enables FirstNet and AT&T to begin creating an entirely new wireless
ecosystem for public safety communications. Louisiana’s first responder subscribers will
have immediate access to priority to voice and data across the existing nationwide
AT&T LTE network.

Preemption for primary users over the AT&T LTE network is expected by December
2017. This means fire, police, EMS and other public safety workers will have dedicated
access to the network when and where they need.

September 27, 2017
Mike Steele


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