FirstNet, a communications platform built by AT&T and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), is being used by more than 7,250 public safety agencies with over 600,000 device connections to date, FirstNet announced on Monday.
The platform continues to expand its coverage, capacity and capabilities for first responders that performs 25 percent faster than any other commercial network. Band 14 spectrum has been deployed in 600 markets, which gives FirstNet the ability to reach new agencies.
It’s being reported that 50 percent of FirstNet’s total connections are new subscribers. Recently, AAA Ambulance Service, American Medical Response, Anchorage Police Department, Chicago Police Department, Elmore County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Seattle Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard have subscribed to FirstNet.
“Our team remains focused on delivering the modern capabilities, coverage and capacity needed to strengthen first responders’ communications nationwide, said Chris Sambar, senior vice president of FirstNet, AT&T. “These results serve as another proof point to show the work is paying off for Public Safety and we don’t intend to slow down as we keep delivering for those we rely on most,” Sambar added.
FirstNet also added 3 Flying Cells on Wings (COWs) to the FirstNet deployable program that are set to be outfitted with Band 14 in the second half of 2019.. Each COW is comprised of 2 tethered drones and a trailer for transport that is equipped with a satellite dish and fiber connections, capable of withstanding light rain and wind speeds up to 25 miles per hour and is able to reach heights of up to 400 feet, making it ideal for situations like wildfires and mountain rescue missions where the terrain may have previously made it difficult to maintain connectivity.
“FirstNet is transforming the marketplace for public safety communications – delivering products, services and technologies that are making a difference for our first responders,” said Ed Parkinson, Acting CEO of the FirstNet Authority. “We are excited about the progress of the network enhancements. As we move forward, the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T will continue to work with Public Safety to advance and evolve the network platform to meet their ongoing communications needs.”
FirstNet is Public Safety’s dedicated, nationwide communications platform. It’s bringing public safety communications into the 21st century with new, innovative capabilities to strengthen first responders’ incident response. And it’s helping them connect to the critical information they need – every day and in every emergency.
FirstNet is built with AT&T in a public-private partnership with the FirstNet Authority – an independent agency within the federal government. This helps ensure that the FirstNet communications platform and service offerings meet the short- and long-term needs of the public safety community.