blog post that all of AT&T’s LTE bands will be made available to public safety agencies before this year is over. Around a month ago, the major US wireless carrier was awarded the contract for the multibillion FirstNet project, which aims to build a public safety broadband network across America. Once set up, this network will be used mainly by police, firefighters, EMS personnel, and other first responders.
Poth further explains that as part of the public-private partnership with AT&T, FirstNet will be making full use of the mobile operator’s current network infrastructure, which is valued at over $180 billion. By taking advantage of the carrier’s existing network, FirstNet can start developing specialized features that should allow first responders to deliver assistance more quickly and efficiently.
For instance, FirstNet is exploring the idea of taking advantage of AT&T’s economies of scale to develop an app and device ecosystem designed specifically for public safety, complete with its own dedicated help desk. According to Poth, public safety agencies have been requesting for priority and pre-emption over a broadband network for some time now. With the help of AT&T, FirstNet can finally see that request granted.
Poth also mentioned in his blog post that FirstNet is looking to deliver draft State Plans by June of this year, a full three months ahead of the original schedule. In preparation for that, FirstNet and AT&T are planning to bring all State Single Points of Contact (SPOCs) together in order to start previewing key information and process points that will be shared in the online State Plans portal. FirstNet had taken the initiative over the last three years to do market research as well as collect feedback from public safety agencies, and it now plans to use that gathered data in the drafting and review of the State Plans.