What is FirstNet; simply put FirstNet is the first nationwide, high-speed broadband network dedicated to public safety – our First Responders Network. This initiative grew out of the public safety community’s commitment to, and advocacy for, a dedicated network to address the communication challenges faced during 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Consider the importance communication has in public safety. When an emergency arises, instincts kick in and you depend on the ability to contact the folks you need and depend on; that’s where the FirstNet infrastructure comes in.
From a personal basis, in emergency situations a call typically gets generated to a local 9-1-1 operator. The 9-1-1 operator can communicate to downstream community public safety teams to alert them to the emergency, and to set the course of action for response. On a nationwide basis, communication between communities is more difficult. Firefighters, law enforcement officers and paramedics need the ability to communicate to each other, across different channels, numerous jurisdictions, across county and state boundaries and in all areas of the nation. That’s where FirstNet comes in…FirstNet was created to develop the first nationwide public safety broadband network to provide first responders the advanced communication and collaboration technologies they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.
The great news is that the foundation for this network is here, the FirstNet Network Goes Nationwide. The next steps are to start the build out process for infrastructure which will ultimately provide first responders with the bandwidth and mission critical connections they need to communicate, share information and use innovative technologies in emergency situations.
Emergencies don’t only happen in densely populated areas. Life-threatening emergencies which occur in remote areas still demand communication among the first responders. Since sharing one network improves the communication among all first responders, regardless of the emergency location, FirstNet will extend its broadband communication reach to rural America. By utilizing existing rural providers, such as Bluebird Network, FirstNet will be able to realize rural deployment as a priority in its broadband network built-out.
We use and rely on modern technology in our everyday lives…our dependence on state-of-the-art technology during emergency situations shouldn’t be any less.