Hot-air balloon participate on a field glow at third annual FireLake Fireflight Balloon Festival in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

FirstNet ‘immeasurable’ at Oklahoma balloon festival

In August, the Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN) hosted the third annual FireLake Fireflight Balloon Festival in Shawnee, Oklahoma, this year attracting an estimated 20,000 attendees. Large events like the balloon festival require months of advance preparation to ensure the community’s safety and security. As part of these efforts, festival planners had to prepare for potential impacts on public safety communications, including commercial network congestion.


A room full of attendees at the June 2019 3GPP meetings listen and take notes on laptops as a panel of four speakers at the front give a presentation, a police officer holds a FirstNet enabled device

Public-Safety Features Officially Part of Next 3GPP Standard Release

In December 2019, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) held its final quarterly meeting of the year in Sitges, Spain. Dean Prochaska, FirstNet Authority Director of Standards, summarizes the discussion and what the standards body is working toward next.


An aerial view of a Satellite Cell on Light Truck (SatCOLT) sitting in a parking lot.

FirstNet Deployables are Unique Offering for Emergency Managers

When disaster strikes or large crowds gather, public safety officials need a broadband network they can rely on to remain connected. FirstNet’s fleet of deployables is an important resource for emergency managers for planned and unplanned events to ensure that connection is available. First Responder Network Authority Senior Public Safety Advisor Timothy Pierce describes the deployables that are available to FirstNet subscribers and how those resources can make a difference for first responders.



 Annapolis Maryland Police patch, broadband tower and power lines

City of Annapolis Comes Together to Provide Reliable Communications to Public Safety Agencies

Historic Annapolis, Maryland, hosts nearly two million tourists annually, and public safety officials are responsible for protecting these visitors and local residents throughout the town and in the surrounding Chesapeake Bay. City leadership recognizes the necessity of reliable communications for these first responders and is rolling out FirstNet city-wide. FirstNet Authority’s Senior Public Safety Advisor Lori Stone discusses this initiative and how it is benefiting Annapolis’ public safety community.

 



Three police officers consult information on a smartphone, a firefighter looks at a rugged device, an EMS technician next to a patient gurney in the back of an ambulance looks down at a smart device

A Growing and Diverse Ecosystem of FirstNet Devices

In a world where technology trends are ever changing, the FirstNet Authority and our network contractor, AT&T, are working diligently to deliver a dedicated public safety broadband network. In addition to a reliable and secure connection, we are working with AT&T to build a diverse device ecosystem that will meet the needs of public safety.


An emergency manager points towards a screen displaying a map, an officer holds a smartphone displaying an app, an EMS technician interacts with a display screen

Using and Developing Apps on FirstNet: the next phase of public safety communications

A robust broadband ecosystem for public safety demands a proven pool of mobile apps based on the needs of the responder community. The FirstNet applications strategy is to enable the creation of public safety mobile applications while maintaining support for existing commercial applications. This will establish a portfolio of resilient, reliable, secure and easy-to-use mobile applications for first responders.


FirstNet Public Safety Advisory Committee members discuss matters during a meeting, Twenty-three representatives of all disciplines of public safety stand for a PSAC group photo

PSAC meeting highlights 2019 accomplishments and 2020 initiatives

The FirstNet Authority Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) held its bi-annual meeting in Austin, TX, where more than 20 PSAC members gathered to discuss 2019 activities and accomplishments and 2020 goals and initiatives. Kenzie Capece, FirstNet Authority Senior Public Safety Advisor, recaps the conversation on the FirstNet Authority Roadmap and special presentations from FirstNet, Built with AT&T, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.


Four Tech to Protect participants code in collaboration at a table filled with laptops, a Haptics Challenge judge tests virtual reality simulations, a FirstNet Authority speaker at TEEX UnderFire gestures in front of an audience

The FirstNet Ecosystem: Spurring Innovation

As technology rapidly evolves, more and more tools are becoming available to first responders. Over the past year, the FirstNet Authority has supported several innovation contests that encourage entrepreneurs, researchers, and public safety professionals to develop solutions to assist emergency responders. Brian Hobson, Director of the FirstNet Authority Enterprise Strategy Division, breaks down some of these contests and how the FirstNet Authority is helping drive innovation forward.


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