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FirstNet Update: Full Implementation Scheduled for March 2018

Oct 09, 2017

24 states and territories have opted in to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) network, the nation’s first high-speed broadband public safety network. FirstNet reaches the half-way point with the recent addition of Texas and Idaho; so far, none of the 56 states or territories have opted out. This new network will connect all first responders through voice, video and data, enabling different agencies and jurisdictions access to the same information and applications.

FirstNet requirements are being driven by public safety needs, and applications are vetted before implementation. FirstNet will also have push capabilities, meaning information and applications can be sent to first responders at the scene. This improves situational awareness in the field, critical to first responder safety in the current threat environment.

Things are moving quickly with FirstNet after years of planning. AT&T holds the contract for development and full implementation is currently scheduled for March 2018, right around the corner. FirstNet has delivered official notice of State Plans to governors. Governors will have 90 days – until Dec. 28 – to decide whether to accept the FirstNet/AT&T plan for deploying the nationwide public safety broadband network or initiate the process to have the state take on the responsibility for deploying its own Radio Access Network (RAN) that must be interoperable with the FirstNet network. If a state does not take any action on its updated State Plan by Dec. 28, the state will automatically opt in to the FirstNet network. This key milestone follows delivery of updated State Plans to the states and territories last week. Read more.