Why FirstNet

Doing Business With FirstNet

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Law enforcement officers, firefighters, paramedics, and other public safety entities need a dedicated nationwide wireless broadband network. They need a network that they can count on during emergencies and to meet their everyday missions. Here are ten reasons why public safety needs FirstNet:

  1. First responders in action

    First responders need a reliable, resilient broadband network to perform their life saving mission. Most teenagers today own smartphones that are more powerful communications devices than those typically used by the public safety community. In many cases, emergency responders have to bring their own smartphones to work to access applications, search databases and share videos. FirstNet will facilitate the use of rugged, easy-to-use devices designed to meet public safety requirements and provide a rich set of applications and services that enhance their ability to do their jobs. The FirstNet network should provide the backbone to allow the public safety community to improve its communications and perform its mission more safely.

  2. Major weather events such as Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina affect infrastructure when public safety needs it most. As wind speeds rise and electrical power begins to fail, cell sites need ample power backup to address outages and adequate hardening to withstand the destructive forces of nature. Simultaneously, the network must be designed so that it can stand up to criminal events by rerouting rapidly if portions of the network are destroyed or compromised. FirstNet intends to deliver a highly resilient and reliable network.

  3. During emergencies like the Boston Marathon bombing, wireless traffic is concentrated in specific areas and capacity can become insufficient for public safety’s needs. Public safety needs an exclusive network so they can communicate without interruption. This is especially important during large emergencies when consumers may possibly overload commercial wireless networks to reach their family and friends. FirstNet will provide public safety with a priority communications network when they need it most.

  4. Capacity isn't only an issue during emergencies. When thousands of people converge at special events such as concerts, art festivals, sporting venues or political rallies, public safety has to be there. Hundreds of cities host special events annually. For two weeks a year, even the remote Nevada desert is home to the Burning Man festival. Two weeks before the Kentucky Derby, half a million people occupy one square mile for Thunder Over Louisville. FirstNet will deliver mobile and robust capacity, as well as enhanced public safety coverage to keep citizens safe.

  5. U.S. Navy Training Exercise Firefighter

    Maintaining contact with the trauma center is a lifeline for emergency medical services personnel when treating an injured backpacker. When life-threatening emergencies happen in rural or wilderness areas, public safety often ends up without a network connection that could enable expert medical support during transport to the hospital. FirstNet will provide reliable, mobile coverage solutions because emergencies don’t just happen where people live.

  6. Situational awareness during an incident will help protect people, property and first responders. When public safety personnel have a common picture of an incident that's unfolding, they are far better equipped to respond. During structural fires, crimes in process or medical emergencies, the ability to share real-time images and video of the scene as well as the locations of responders and locally relevant information improves communication and outcomes. FirstNet will carry high-speed data, location information, images, and eventually streaming video that can mean the difference between life and death.

  7. New Jersey pier damage - Hurricane Sandy

    Public safety learned long ago that one simple number, like 911, made it easier for all citizens needing help in an emergency, anywhere in the country, to call one number. Now we need to complete that mission and provide one interoperable network for those first responders that are answering that call, to be able to respond with one, nationwide network of communications. This integrated network will improve communication during mutual aid calls and is intended to provide the latest communication technologies in a single nationwide network that is dedicated to public safety.

    Today, first responders rely on more than 10,000 separate, incompatible, and often proprietary land mobile radio networks. This makes it difficult, and at times impossible, for emergency responders from different jurisdictions to communicate, especially during major emergencies. FirstNet devices will work anywhere on the network and will save time when seconds matter. In addition, the network design and services offered by FirstNet are intended to ensure interoperability among first responders.

  8. A single nationwide network will inspire new ways to perform public safety roles that are safer, more effective and more efficient. In the future, FirstNet will provide an interoperable communications system that can be used by all first responders, from a variety of jurisdictions, all at the same time. New applications will be created, new purpose-made devices will be available, and public safety will be able to serve our nation more efficiently than ever before.

  9. A market of millions of public safety users is designed to bring savings opportunities to state and local budgets. FirstNet will bring the benefits of a single, nationwide, interoperable network that is built to open standards to public safety agencies across the country. With millions of users on a single network, FirstNet hopes to take advantage of increased vendor competition and economies of scale to drive down the final cost to the public safety user. FirstNet is designing the network to be able to offer a dedicated public safety service at a highly attractive rate that will in turn enable state and local governments to save on operating costs.

  10. Tornado destroys Oklahoma Elementary school

    In the face of terrorist attacks or natural disasters, public safety must have a nationwide network. Incident commanders need the ability to quickly convey vital data to every first responder. They need to know what resources from neighboring jurisdictions can be available if required. One network with interoperability built-in from day one will enhance public safety’s ability to protect and serve. FirstNet will ensure that a single platform for public safety communications is created.

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