FirstNet reviewing Tennessee subscriber outages following Nashville bombing

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) has been meeting with subscribers in the Nashville area and some surrounding areas that experienced outages after a Nashville bombing.

The Dec. 25, 2020 bombing of a Nashville AT&T building did not impact FirstNet network infrastructure directly. Still, some subscribers experienced outages when batteries powering communications equipment in the building were exhausted six hours after the blast had knocked out commercial power, and generator power was affected by flooding caused by broken water mains.

“As we continue to examine what happened during the blast and the ensuing recovery period, we needed to hear directly from the FirstNet users who were impacted by this service outage,” FirstNet Authority Board Chair Tip Osterthaler, who led the delegation that recently traveled to Tennessee and Kentucky to hear directly from state and local FirstNet subscribers about the operational impacts of the FirstNet service outage, said. “We learned a great deal by talking personally to emergency services organizations and first responders.”

Osterthaler said, once FirstNet finishes gathering information, it would make and implement recommendations on minimizing the risk of future outages on the nationwide public safety broadband network.

“The FirstNet Authority exists for one reason, and that is to ensure emergency managers and first responders have the communications they need to perform their critical public safety missions,” Osterthaler said. “Our focus in the coming weeks and months will be to enhance the resiliency of the existing network in light of the threat environment.”

Douglas Clark

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