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Living and working in the largest state in the United States, Alaska first responders must support residents across 586,000 square miles of land, including 229 federally recognized tribes generally organized into remote villages. Alaska truly defines ‘frontier’ as only 30 percent of the state is accessible by roads. FirstNet is helping public safety in Alaska connect to the farthest outposts of our country — from the highest peaks of Denali to the most northern U.S. enclave of Point Barrow, and along Alaska’s nearly 34,000 miles of shoreline and island coasts.
The First Responder Network Authority team recognizes the unique communications challenges that Alaska first responders face. We have been working closely with Alaska public safety officials since 2014, capturing their feedback and translating it into the design of the FirstNet network. During the development of state deployment plans, our team worked hand-in-hand with Alaska leaders to ensure the plan was customized to address their needs, including:
- Bringing the state's first responders the coverage they need when and where emergencies occur
- Building upon Alaska's efforts to bolster public safety through advanced technology with broadband services and applications
- Providing first responders with access to dedicated network assets that can be deployed for additional coverage and support when needed
Following this close collaboration, Alaska chose to adopt the plan and “opt in” to FirstNet. Today, we continue to meet regularly with state and local officials to discuss their public safety broadband needs. A sample of our 2019 engagements with Alaska public safety officials included meetings with the Alaska Fire Chiefs Association, representatives of the regional Alaska Native Corporation Association, and the Department of Public Safety. Engagements like these are crucial to the ongoing success of the network and the advancement of public safety communications across the state and the nation.
Connect with our team of Public Safety Advisors to learn about FirstNet in your community.
Last year’s 7.0 earthquake really brought the significance of the FirstNet system to light. When the shaking stopped, I relied on my FirstNet phone to begin our response to the disaster.