Medical, police, fire, and all other first responders in the state of Kansas will shortly gain access to dedicated wireless services for emergencies under the state’s FirstNet deal with one of the best internet providers in the country, AT&T®. Kansas has just become the thirteenth state in the country that has opted for AT&T’s FirstNet dedicated wireless broadband network.
Gov. Sam Brownback recently confirmed the fact to the public by announcing that the state has accepted the proposal from the telecom giant, AT&T®. As per the plan with Kansas State, the telecom company will build, maintain, and operate an efficient broadband network through a public private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority without any charges.
The officials from the telecom company stated that first responders would be easily able to gain access to the broadband network by simply signing up as paying customers. At the present, most of the first responders usually subscribe to Verizon®, AT&T®, or any other wireless internet providers, and communicate via tablets, phones, and other devices on the exact same network as other subscribers.
Traffic from the first responders will continue to travel along with the traffic of other wireless customers in FirstNet network too. However, the good news is that the first responders will be having a preemptive claim on network capacity with FirstNet network, which means that other customers may also be temporarily knocked out from the service if needed. Earlier, the telecom giant called the feature as “ruthless preemption”.
Dick Heitschmidt, chief of police and chairman of the Kansas 9-1-1 Coordinating Council and Hutchinson, recently said, “There’s a whole host of things that are going to happen once this system gets built out.” FirstNet emerged as a reliable and efficient solution to communication issues during major emergencies such as tornadoes, Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and other events. First responders experienced severe communication problems during such horrible events before the service was introduced.
Reports indicate that Virgin Islands has also opted for the proposed broadband network. On the other hand, Missouri has not yet announced their plans for a FirstNet network, although reports say that it may happen very soon. States can either develop their own FirstNet network or team up with the best internet service provider, AT&T®, for the same.