Washington D.C. Opts-in to FirstNet

“DC is home to the bravest first responders in the country and they must have the tools and advanced technologies to save lives and protect communities.”

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 27, 2017 – Washington D.C. is advancing communications for first responders. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced her decision to accept the First Responder Network Authority* and AT&T** plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the District’s public safety community. FirstNet will bring advanced technologies that will help Washington D.C.’s first responders save lives and protect communities.

“DC is home to the bravest first responders in the country and they must have the tools and advanced technologies to save lives and protect communities,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “By opting-in, we are doing our job to make sure the brave men and women who protect the Nation’s Capital has the mission-critical broadband capabilities needed to communication effectively and in real-time.”

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 Washington D.C.’s public safety community at no cost to the District. The FirstNet network will drive innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools built just for first responders.

FirstNet will transform the way Washington D.C.’s fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel communicate and share information during incidents, events and emergencies. 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 the National Cherry Blossom Festival that attracts more than 22 million visitors annually.
Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the District when responding to natural disasters that occur in Washington D.C., such as severe snow and ice storms.
Enhance and expand network coverage along Washington D.C.’s waterways, to cover areas that are today underserved, benefitting first responders and residents throughout the District’s urban centers.
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 District.
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 911 networks and Smart Cities’ infrastructure.
The First Responder Network Authority and AT&T designed Washington D.C.’s network solution with direct input from the District’s public safety community. The Authority has been meeting with Washington D.C.’s officials and public safety personnel for several years to address their unique communication needs. These include:

Providing sufficient capacity to contend with a large number of Federal users.
Enhancing communications and coordination across the National Capital Region.
Providing quick access to deployables.
“Mayor Bowser’s decision today delivers mission-critical broadband capabilities to first responders to help them better serve and protect those that live, visit, and work in Washington, D.C.,” said First Responder Network Authority CEO Mike Poth. “The FirstNet network will also provide seamless communications to responders throughout the National Capital Region and deliver advanced mobile technologies.”

The decision enables the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T to begin offering an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications. The District of Columbia’s first responder subscribers now have priority and preemption on the FirstNet network for voice and data communications, 24/7/365 – like their mission.

“Today is an exciting day for first responders and residents in the District of Columbia,” said Denis Dunn, president, AT&T Washington D.C. “Mayor Bowser and her team have shown a great deal of commitment and foresight by opting into FirstNet, which will help ensure that first responders in our nation’s capital get the next-generation communications tools for which they’ve asked, and that they deserve. We’re honored to support this mission.”

December 27, 2017

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


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