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This year marks the tenth anniversary of the legislation that created the FirstNet Authority. From our earliest days, the FirstNet Authority has collaborated with tribal leadership and organizations to better understand the needs of responders in Indian Country. We are working to expand broadband coverage into tribal communities that have historically lacked access to reliable communication services and offering advanced technologies to keep them connected.
Bringing broadband to Tribal responders has always been a priority for the FirstNet Authority. When Board members visited the Navajo Nation – which spans Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah – they learned how deployables and expanded coverage are bringing interoperability to the tribe’s emergency communications. FirstNet has played an important role during major events like the pandemic response and a visit from the First Lady of the United States.
County government officials in Cecil County, Maryland, rely on FirstNet for communications during a crisis. The nationwide public safety broadband network ensures local government leaders are able to stay connected and maintain operations in both rural and urban areas of the county.
Coverage is king for public safety communications. Since its creation, the FirstNet Authority has focused on ensuring first responders have coverage and connectivity whenever and wherever they need it. Deployables, high power user equipment, and a focus on 5G are some of the new ways FirstNet subscribers can get coverage in hard-to-reach areas.
For the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department, FirstNet is a critical supplement one of the most complex wireless radio systems in New York. FirstNet extends coverage to places in New York that historically lacked portable radio coverage, enhancing the connectivity for officers assigned to the New York City subway system and increasing interoperability with partners throughout the state.
With decades of experience in public safety and public service, Stephen Benjamin understands the importance of reliable communications for first responders. Ten years after the creation of the FirstNet Authority, he reflects on the impacts of FirstNet and shares his vision for the future of the network as Chair of the FirstNet Authority Board.
Public safety agencies and organizations in thousands of communities across the country are staying connected with FirstNet, Built with AT&T. The public safety community on FirstNet has access to the nation’s largest coverage footprint, reaching more than 2.81 million square miles across the country.
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) represents American Indian and Alaska Native Tribal governments and promotes the broad interests of Tribes and their citizens. NCAI has been an important member of the Public Safety Advisory Committee, providing input on the unique communications challenges Tribal first responders face.
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.