This blog is a repost from TribalNet Magazine, originally published in the Fall 2022 edition. The article can be accessed on page 35.
The Latest with FirstNet
The First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet Authority, and our contractor AT&T have been working steadily to build out FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network. Through ongoing consultation with public safety and infrastructure investments, the network supports more than 21,500 public safety agencies and organizations with coverage reaching more than 99% of the U.S. population across 2.81 million square miles. While these milestones are significant, our work is not done.
We have made it a priority to bring broadband to all first responders — local, state, federal and tribal — in rural and urban areas. Our nation-to-nation relationships with tribes help determine how FirstNet can best serve communities across Indian Country. Our team continues to develop resources and collaborate with key voices in the tribal community to bring broadband to those communities.
Preparing tribal public safety for broadband adoption
To help tribal first responders integrate broadband, the FirstNet Authority developed the "Preparing for Public Safety Broadband: Considerations for Tribal Public Safety Planning" guide. The guide is a "go-to" resource for tribal agencies interested in adopting broadband-based technologies. It covers important topics related to broadband implementation, such as operations, technology, policies, and acquisition. Addressing these areas early on can make broadband adoption more successful. The guide is available upon request to the FirstNet Authority Tribal Team (Tribal.Consultation@FirstNet.gov).
Collaborating with the Indian Gaming Association to enhance emergency response
Recently, the FirstNet Authority and AT&T announced a collaboration with the Indian Gaming Association. an inter-tribal association that focuses on economic self-sufficiency through gaming and community development.
Tribal gaming facilities are critical to tribal emergency operations, providing safe lodging and other forms of support during natural disasters. A dedicated, interoperable connection for tribal public safety is critical to enhancing security and emergency operations in these settings.
Together with the FirstNet Authority and AT&T, the Indian Gaming Association is working to raise awareness of the benefits of FirstNet for tribal public safety. These three organizations will work with the association's nearly 200 member tribes to identify and promote best practices for implementing FirstNet and help them understand how broadband technologies can be used to enhance security and emergency response.
Working with the FirstNet Authority tribal team
From developing planning guidance to engaging with tribal public safety leaders, the FirstNet Authority is committed to bringing broadband to tribal public safety.
Learn more about the FirstNet Authority’s tribal activities at FirstNet.gov/tribal.
For more information about participation in a FirstNet Authority engagement or to request a tribal consultation, email Tribal.Consultation@FirstNet.gov.
Learn more about how FirstNet is transforming public safety communications — contact your local FirstNet Authority Public Safety Advisor and sign up for our discipline newsletters. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for the latest FirstNet Authority updates.
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