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First responders’ inability to communicate after the 9/11 attacks underscored significant public safety communication shortfalls nationwide – including on tribal lands. The FirstNet Authority is working to bring FirstNet’s unique capabilities to tribal communities that are historically prone to communication challenges.
FirstNet Authority Board Approves FY22 Budget for Operations, Investment into Public Safety’s Network
During its third quarterly meeting of 2021, the FirstNet Authority Board approved a $253 million budget for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22), with a focus on overseeing deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network, supporting public safety engagement on their communications priorities, and directing investments in the network based on public safety’s feedback.
Governor Dan McKee, Director Marc Pappas of the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA), the FirstNet Authority, and AT&T unveiled new FirstNet equipment and technology for Rhode Island first responders. As part of the state’s plan when opting into FirstNet, AT&T has delivered 2 new Compact Rapid Deployables (CRDs) to RIEMA. Rhode Island is the first state in the country to receive CRDs as a part of the state’s decision to advance its public safety broadband communications with FirstNet.
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) worked together with the public safety community to understand their critical communications needs. To make use of mobile broadband for daily operations and emergencies, first responders told us they needed the network to be available when and where they needed it most.The FirstNet fleet of deployables now consists of more than 100 assets available to FirstNet subscribers by request.
The Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) held its Spring Business Meeting to discuss the committee’s efforts in 2021 and its ongoing plans to support FirstNet’s growth and expansion. Discussions highlighted accomplishments and business updates in 2021, PSAC Strike Team efforts, and PSAC User Working Group updates.
Over the last four years, this partnership between the FirstNet Authority and AT&T has brought together the very best in the public and private sectors with a singular focus on supporting public safety’s mission. Together, we are delivering on our commitment to the public safety community: to provide a single nationwide, interoperable network for the millions of police, fire, EMS, and public safety workers across the country. Last year, the FirstNet Authority Board directed our first investments for the network, which included initial upgrades to the FirstNet Core to enable access to 5G services for FirstNet subscribers. Today, we are pleased to join AT&T in announcing this initial investment is becoming a reality. FirstNet subscribers will have access to AT&T’s 5G mmWave spectrum in parts of 38 cities and more than 20 venues across the country beginning this month.
Every year, the FirstNet Authority provides a report to Congress outlining the activities, operations, financial condition, and accomplishments from the previous fiscal year. Tom Shull, FirstNet Authority Director of Legislative Affairs, provides an overview of the FirstNet Authority’s Annual Report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2020.
Leonard S. Weiss, MD, FACEP, FAEMS talks about the importance of having public safety give guidance to the FirstNet Authority. Dr. Weiss is the liaison for NAEMSP on the FirstNet Authority's Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC). Learn more at FirstNet.gov/PSAC and at FirstNet.gov/EMS.
FirstNet is pushing the envelope for public safety communications, opening up new capabilities for emergency managers and the first responders they work with. Through real-time data sharing, tools like the Advanced Network Status Tool, and advances in 5G, FirstNet is shaping the future of emergency management.