FirstNet announced a major expansion to its high-speed broadband communications platform for first responders this week, with additional cell sites and more than 2,000 other network enhancements tacked onto its Florida operations.
These additions will include cell sites constructed for the Band 14 and AT&T commercial spectrums at locations identified as priority spots by both state and public safety stakeholders. Band 14 is a nationwide spectrum granted to FirstNet specifically by the government for the only nationwide high-speed broadband communications platform. Additionally, FirstNet is giving free smartphones for life, with unlimited plans to first responders.
“FirstNet is a dedicated broadband platform for public safety, by public safety,” FirstNet Authority CEO Edward Parkinson said. “We worked hand-in-hand with Florida’s public safety community to understand their needs for the network. And these network enhancements are a prime example of how that input and feedback is becoming reality. We look forward to supporting Florida first responders’ use of FirstNet to help them save lives and protect communities.”
FirstNet says that these expansions will increase coverage, capacity, and public safety capabilities alike. Its network is built with AT&T as part of a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority.
“Florida’s first responders deserve reliable coverage across the state to help them effectively and efficiently address incidents. And with FirstNet, that’s exactly what they’re getting,” Joe York, president of AT&T Florida, said. “We couldn’t be more pleased to support the public safety mission and bring the state’s first responders – and residents – greater access to the connectivity they need. Working with public safety, we’ve made FirstNet nimble, adaptable, and ready to scale for even the most severe situations as we’re seeing currently with COVID-19.”
The additions to FirstNet’s infrastructure will also benefit AT&T, boosting its overall coverage for wireless customers in the area.