AT&T® said that its public safety network, FirstNet, is about to be ready for nationwide consumers. The best internet provider has recently announced that local agencies can start connecting to the core infrastructure of FirstNet. AT&T® is set to keep trialing the 4G wireless network with a set number of subscribers in order to “validate that the network will be there when public safety needs it,” said Jeff Bratcher, First Responder Network Authority’s Chief Technology Officer and Director of Operations. He also said AT&T® should complete the final phase of FirstNet trials by May.
The congress acquired First Responder Network Authority from broadcasters through auctions held in 2012 for that. Its purpose is to create a nationwide communication system based on emergencies, such as a natural disaster, and to serve first responders. The notion behind FirstNet was to make sure efficient use of an FCC reserved spectrum and provide network access to nationwide first responders based on priority needs.
The public safety network makes use of FCC’s wireless spectrum with 700 MHz radio frequency band. This spectrum with low frequency enables wireless signals to not only cover long distances, but also penetrate barriers that may hinder indoor coverage such as walls. Experts in the field of public safety point out the fact that live testing of FirstNet is an important milestone in the country, although it is yet to be made available for public safety organizations.
“A lot of hard work went into this and congratulations are in order, but it is a waypoint, not a destination,” said Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, who is also the Chair of Venable’s Telecommunications Group and the former Chief of Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau at FCC. “Public safety needs FirstNet’s deployment everywhere to know whether the promise of a nationwide, interoperable public safety network has been fulfilled.”
In the meantime, Verizon® has also unveiled that their 4G LTE, public safety network for first responder customers is going to be ready in the upcoming week. Upon nationwide launch by AT&T®, FirstNet will complete a suggestion that was laid out by National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States or 9/11 Commission, that documented first responder communication follies that took place during rescue operations commenced after the terrorist attack on September 11.