Revisiting FirstNet, the Public Safety Network Born from 9/11

As they responded to the terrorist attacks on 9/11, public safety professionals struggled to communicate with each other due to tech issues. Twenty years later, FirstNet exists to ensure this doesn’t happen again.


DATE: September 10, 2021

When most U.S. citizens think about what happened 20 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001, they remember where they were. They recall their regular activities coming to a halt. They reflect on the horror and tragedy of it all — that exact moment when America’s sense of near-invincibility was shattered.

For police, firefighters and other individuals involved in emergency response, the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon brought into focus something that had been the truth for quite some time — that public safety communications was stuck in a rut. After the planes crashed on that frightening day, different groups of first responders had incredible difficulties communicating with each other on traffic-ridden networks.



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