BLOG 3.30.18





Reflecting on FirstNet’s Accomplishments - Contract Year 1

March 30, 2018

On March 30, 2018, FirstNet celebrated the one-year anniversary signing of its public safety nationwide broadband contract with AT&T.


It was a year stacked with significant accomplishments, including:

  • the acceptance of the AT&T proposed state and territory deployment plans for all 56 states, territories and the District of Columbia
  • priority and preemptive services always available for public safety across all existing AT&T commercial bands as well as planned for Band 14 and all future AT&T band deployments
  • establishment of a developers’ portal for the new FirstNet applications ecosystem
  • the launch of the FirstNet core
  • end to end encryption for enhanced security
  • 24/7/365 monitoring via a dedicated public safety Security Operations Center (SOC)
  • superior reliability and availability of the network at an agreed 99.99%
  • a new local control framework, and
  • availability of new, hardened LTE devices for public safety


 Phewww…  That’s a lot!


This was FirstNet’s vision 5 years ago when it developed a strategic roadmap and transparent process for achieving a public-private partnership to deploy this critical network, and now the FirstNet Board and staff, along with their AT&T partners, are delivering on their promises and continuing their commitment to public safety. As noted in an AT&T press release, there are now more than 350 agencies across more than 40 states and territories that have adopted FirstNet services and this number grows every day. We are already seeing the strong focus within industry, both from companies big and small, on applications innovation and development and testing to build a comprehensive inventory in the FirstNet App Catalog.  Similarly, we are just at the beginning of the development of new, innovative devices, including high-powered UE, LTE in a box, handsets, heads-up displays, communications UAVs, smart vehicles and the list goes on. Relationships and feedback mechanisms with public safety continue to grow and only are becoming stronger.


FirstNet remains committed to a fully open standard technology for network equipment, protocols, devices and applications, and will continue to be operable with all other carriers, as prescribed by 3GPP standards. The ongoing adherence to open standards in all facets of the network will ensure public safety experiences seamless integration and operations within FirstNet and across other regional and nationwide networks.


We look forward to the surety of 2018 being another exciting and extremely productive and innovative year for public safety communications and technology. We are truly at a tipping point!!


So where will FirstNet be going in year two of operations you may ask?  Great question…


  • on the horizon, we know the Band 14 buildout has commenced, along with deployment of multiple additional AT&T bands that will be available to public safety on FirstNet
  • FirstNet adoption will continue to increase
  • the hardened device market will continue to expand (following the lead of multiple manufactures who have already announced the upcoming release of new, hardened devices)
  • new technologies and platforms will bring enhanced mobile field and other operational capabilities to public safety agencies, including providing interoperable end-to-end encrypted, seamless communications use between and among users of different networks and agencies at all levels
  • continued public safety LTE deployment and planning progress throughout Europe, South Korea, Canada, New Zealand and Australia as they look to deploy their respective versions of LTE capabilities for public safety.


FirstNet has laid the foundation for an explosion of market opportunity – a proverbial “big bang” in public safety technologies, communications, and capabilities. Now is the time for technology companies to step up and embrace this valuable public safety community, to see the incredible growth that is about to emerge, to engage with public safety directly and to continuously innovate to meet new and evolving needs and become the new industry leaders.


We have been honored to be a part of helping create this new ecosystem. The Public Safety Network remains dedicated to fostering innovation for the benefit of public safety and is extremely excited to be a part of this growing, dynamic industry.



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