Although Florida is nicknamed the Sunshine State, it experiences a six-month hurricane season that tests networks and first responders’ ability to connect and share vital data, especially with a lengthy 8,436 miles of shoreline to cover. Coverage, connection, and mission-critical features are vital to this state, which is one of the most frequently visited tourist destinations in the world — home to an abundance of theme parks, national parks such as the Everglades, and 10 major league sports teams.

The First Responder Network Authority team recognizes the unique communications challenges that Florida first responders face. We have been working closely with Florida 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 Florida leaders to ensure the plan was customized to address their needs, including:

  • Expanding coverage beyond what is currently available, including coastlines and state-controlled waterways, with an emphasis on rural coverage
  • Offering feature-rich services at competitive prices

Following this close collaboration, Florida 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. In 2019 alone, our team met with Florida public safety officials more than 20 times. Our engagements in Florida included the Florida Summer Sheriffs Conference, the Public Safety Roundtable, and meeting with the Palm Beach County School District Police Department. 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.

When it comes to natural disasters like Hurricane Michael, we’re all in this together. And when everything else was down, FirstNet was working. It's helping keep our officers across the state stay safe and connected during their lifesaving missions.


Steve CaseyExecutive Director of the Florida Sheriffs Association

FirstNet Authority
Public Safety Advisor
Bruce Fitzgerald