FirstNet: The History of our Nation's Public Safety Network

FirstNet is a nationwide wireless broadband network for first responders deployed through a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership between the federal government and AT&T. FirstNet offers public safety a communications network built to their operational and technical needs that helps them save lives and protect our communities.

The First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet Authority, is the federal entity charged with overseeing the building, deployment, and operation of the FirstNet network. Established as an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the agency’s role is to establish a network that equips public safety with broadband communications services, now and into the future, and ensure AT&T delivers on the terms of its contract.

The FirstNet Authority strives to ensure that FirstNet reflects the needs of public safety by factoring their input into network planning and investments. To best serve public safety, the FirstNet Authority maintains a robust outreach and engagement program to understand first responder needs and priorities for the network, while also working with AT&T to improve upon the public safety user experience. Through an ongoing dialogue with the public safety community, the FirstNet Authority will ensure their voices are heard in the continued evolution and improvement of the network through its Roadmap and investment processes.

Our History