FirstNet Authority, AT&T Announce 10-Year Investment to Transform America’s Public Safety Broadband Network



First Responder Communications Stay at the Forefront of Innovation with 5G Upgrades, Coverage Enhancements, and Mission-Critical Services.

SPRINGFIELD, Va., Feb. 13, 2024 /CNW/ —

Key Takeaways:

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) is launching the next phase of FirstNet through a series of strategic investments totaling more than $8 billion over 10 years.1
Today, the FirstNet Authority and its network partner, AT&T, join to unveil the latest network investment of $6.3 billion, delivering full 5G capabilities on FirstNet, expanded mission-critical services, and enhanced coverage. The FirstNet Authority anticipates an additional $2 billion in ongoing investments dedicated to coverage enhancements, which is currently under discussion by the parties.
Starting in March, FirstNet will be the first and only wireless network to provide America’s first responders with always-on priority and preemption across 5G, expanding to include all AT&T 5G commercial spectrum.
AT&T is deploying a new standalone FirstNet 5G network core built on the latest industry standards with dedicated public safety functionality and features.
The FirstNet Authority and AT&T will continue to work with public safety officials and government stakeholders to grow and enhance the network.

What’s the news? The FirstNet Authority and its network partner, AT&T*, are announcing a major investment in the future of public safety communications. The FirstNet Authority’s 10-year, $8 billion investment initiative will evolve and expand FirstNet® — America’s public safety network. The FirstNet Authority plans to invest $6.3 billion through its network contract with AT&T and anticipates an additional $2 billion for ongoing investments in coverage enhancements for public safety, which is currently under discussion by the parties. These strategic investments will expand and evolve FirstNet so public safety stays at the forefront of innovative, lifesaving technologies.

As public safety’s partner, AT&T has already grown FirstNet — the only network built with and for America’s first responders and the extended public safety community — to cover more first responders than any network nationwide. With more than 5.5 million connections and about 27,500 public safety agencies and organizations on FirstNet,2 first responders can reliably communicate with one another during everyday operations, big events, emergencies in the field, and more.

This landmark announcement launches the next phase of FirstNet with a 10-year investment initiative that will:

Provide first responders on FirstNet with always-on priority and preemption across all AT&T 5G commercial spectrum bands, starting in March.
Build thousands of new, purpose-built FirstNet cell sites across the country – including 1,000 new sites within the next two years. Beyond the initial $6.3 billion investment, the FirstNet Authority anticipates additional investments over the next decade to deliver Band 14 coverage enhancements. These coverage investments will reflect public safety factors and network considerations, all in support of public safety response operations.
Create a standalone 5G core to enhance current 5G functionality with specific public safety features on FirstNet and support the transition of public safety’s Band 14 spectrum from LTE to 5G.
Expand mission-critical services — voice, video, data, and location — to complement public safety’s localized, voice-only radio systems with reliable, wireless connectivity.
Upgrade public safety’s dedicated fleet of deployable network assets with 5G connectivity …

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