"Expanding rural broadband coverage through FirstNet;" A cell tower located in a rural farm town

Expanding Rural Broadband Coverage Through FirstNet

FirstNet is revolutionizing the delivery of public safety services for all users. Learn how FirstNet is expanding broadband coverage into rural areas that have been traditionally underserved or unserved.


FirstNet Authority logo; Edward Parkinson headshot; a 5G cell tower

FirstNet’s public safety-first approach to 5G and evolving their network

In 2021, the FirstNet Authority delivered its first investments in public safety’s network to help drive a differentiated, dedicated, and enduring network to support first responders. In 2022, the FirstNet Authority will continue to advance public safety communications through close engagement with first responders and expansions in 5G and mission-critical solutions.


First responder holding a smartphone. Symbol of emergency management cycle.

FirstNet innovates disaster recovery for emergency management

Every year, disasters put millions of Americans in danger and cost billions of dollars in property damage. After the threat of harm has passed, FirstNet plays an important role in the recovery phase. While a community is assessing damage, repairing and rebuilding infrastructure, and restoring critical functions, FirstNet keeps responders connected and communicating, speeding up some steps of the recovery process. Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency in Alabama used FirstNet to speed up reporting after disasters.


A vaccination center in Mason County, West Virginia

Faster and better care in rural West Virginia with FirstNet

When Mason County, West Virginia needed broadband for their public safety agencies, they considered many options and ultimately decided to go with FirstNet because of coverage. Now all EMS agencies in this rural county use FirstNet for their communications, making a difference for providers and patients alike, especially when ambulance rides can be 45 minutes to the nearest advanced care hospital.


 A New Hampshire State Police trooper uses a tablet to monitor and steer a drone

Behind the Scenes at a Mass Vaccination Site in New Hampshire

As vaccines became available, the New Hampshire Department of Safety set up a large vaccination clinic in Loudon. “Go-kits” with cameras, battery packs, routers with FirstNet SIM cards, and other internet-based devices were used to oversee and coordinate the operation, and the ability to stream video footage to unified command was critical to decision-making.


Group of New Mexico police officers riding on horseback monitoring the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Standing in Support of New Mexico’s Hometown Heroes

FirstNet has supported New Mexico first responders through many events. From connecting public safety at the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival to covering tribal nations during the pandemic, agencies are experiencing the benefits of their network.


Two FirstNet smartphones measuring FirstNet connectivity speeds

Demonstrating Priority and Preemption in the Boulder FirstNet Lab

Experts at the Boulder FirstNet Lab in Colorado test functions and features of FirstNet to ensure first responders experience the network as designed and expected. For example, using load test tools, researchers can emulate 6,000 devices and demonstrate how priority and preemption work for first responders.


A SatCOLT providing broadband support in an area destroyed by Hurricane Matthew; FirstNet One blimp preparing for take-off after Hurricane Laura.

The FirstNet Network: Prepared, aware, and ready for hurricane season

When hurricanes strike, the main and immediate focus for first responders is rescuing and responding to those in need of aid. Last season, public safety officials relied on FirstNet to sustain and restore emergency communications for many hard-hit communities. FirstNet is critical to our nation’s first responders who battle storms day in and day out – and to those who have placed their confidence into the network’s communications capabilities to keep our communities safe


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