FirstNet is a nationwide wireless broadband network for first responders being built and deployed through a first of its kind public-private partnership between the federal government and AT&T. FirstNet offers public safety a communications network built and customized to meet their needs.
The First Responder Network Authority is the federal entity charged with overseeing the creation and delivery of the FirstNet network. Housed within the Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the agency’s role is to ensure AT&T delivers on the terms of its contract and creates a network that meets the needs of public safety now and into the future.
"What is FirstNet” video click here
The September 11, 2001, attacks were one of the most devastating events in our nation’s history. The tragedy also revealed fundamental problems with the communications systems used by our nation’s first responders. The radio systems police, fire, and paramedics relied on could not easily operate across agencies, and during the crisis, land and mobile phone lines were overwhelmed by a high volume of calls.
The communications challenges first responders faced on that day were captured in the 9/11 Commission Report. The 2004 report identified gaps in emergency communications and recommended a nationwide network for public safety communications.
In the years after the report’s release, public safety organizations and associations came together to press Congress to pass legislation establishing a reliable, dedicated and national high-speed network for first responders.
In 2012, Congress created the First Responder Network Authority as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (PUBLIC LAW 112–96).
The Act that created the First Responder Network Authority required it to engage in an open, transparent, and competitive RFP process for the deployment of the network. Informed by years of public safety consultation and data collection, FirstNet issued its objectives-based RFP in January of 2016. FirstNet awarded an innovative 25-year contract to AT&T in March 2017.
Primary Users are Public Safety Entities that act as first responders, the agencies who are at an emergency scene first. This includes law enforcement, fire protection services, emergency (911) call dispatching and government Public Safety Answering Points, emergency planning and management offices, and ambulance safety services.
Extended Primary Users are those agencies, organizations, non-profit or for-profit companies that provide public safety services in support of Primary Users. They provide mitigation, remediation, overhaul, clean-up, restoration, or other such services during or after an incident.
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FirstNet Ready™ is an AT&T-certified device that out-of-the-box supports the FirstNet SIM. The FirstNet SIM is the “key” required to access the FirstNet core. Dell’s FirstNet Services Partner, Two Way Direct, provides the FirstNet SIM card and activation coordination to the customer.