RESTON, Va., Dec. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Florida is advancing communications capabilities for first responders. Today, Governor Rick Scott accepted the First Responder Network Authority* and AT&T** plan to design and build a wireless broadband network for the state's public safety community. FirstNet will bring advanced technologies that will help Florida's first responders save lives and protect communities.
"Florida has decided to participate in the deployment of the nationwide, interoperable broadband network as proposed in the FirstNet State Plan... I believe this is in the best interest for Florida taxpayers," said Gov. Scott.
AT&T, in a public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority, will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for Florida's public safety community at no cost to the state. The FirstNet network will drive innovation and create an entire system of modernized devices, apps and tools for first responders.
FirstNet will transform the way Florida's fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel communicate and share information. Specifically, it will:
- Connect first responder subscribers to the critical information they need in a highly secure manner when handling day-to-day operations, responding to emergencies and supporting large events like college and professional football games or at any of the state's theme parks that attract millions of visitors each year.
- Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the state during natural disasters like Hurricane Irma in September 2017 that caused damage and power outages across the state.
- Enhance and expand network coverage in Florida to cover areas that are today underserved, benefitting first responders and residents throughout the state's rural areas.
- Provide first responders with access to dedicated network assets that can be deployed for additional coverage and support when needed.
- Drive infrastructure investments and create jobs across the state.
- Usher in a new wave of dependable innovations for first responders. This will create an ever-evolving set of life-saving tools for public safety, including public safety apps, specialized devices and Internet of Things technologies. It also carries the potential for future integration with NextGen 911 networks and Smart Cities' infrastructure.
The First Responder Network Authority and AT&T designed Florida's network solution with direct input from the state's public safety community. The First Responder Network Authority has been meeting with Florida's officials and public safety personnel for several years to address their unique communication needs. These include:
- Expanding coverage beyond what is currently available from commercial carriers, including coastlines and state-controlled waterways, with an emphasis on rural coverage.
- Offering feature-rich services at competitive prices.
"Governor Scott's decision to join FirstNet equips Florida's first responders with the ability to communicate with priority and preemption at all times to help keep the public safe and secure," said First Responder Network Authority CEO Mike Poth. "FirstNet gives law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel the technologies and tools they need to communicate with each other and across diverse terrains when responding to emergencies."
The decision enables the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T to begin offering an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications. Florida's first responder subscribers now have priority and preemption on the FirstNet network for voice and data communications, 24/7/365 – like their mission.
"We're honored to bring FirstNet to Florida," said Joe York, president, AT&T Florida. "We applaud Governor Scott for his commitment to public safety. By opting in to FirstNet, Governor Scott is taking public safety a major step forward, giving Florida's first responders access to the critical communications capabilities they need when seconds count and lives hang in the balance."
*About First Responder Network Authority
The First Responder Network Authority is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Chartered in 2012, its mission is to ensure the building, deployment, and operation of the nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. Learn more at FirstNet.gov/mediakit and follow FirstNet (@FirstNetGov) on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE :T ) helps millions around the globe connect with leading entertainment, business, mobile and high speed internet services. We have the nation's largest and most reliable network*** and the best global coverage of any U.S. wireless provider. We're one of the world's largest providers of pay TV. We have TV customers in the U.S. and 11 Latin American countries. Nearly 3.5 million companies, from small to large businesses around the globe, turn to AT&T for our highly secure smart solutions.
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***Coverage not avail. everywhere. Based on overall coverage in U.S. licensed/roaming areas. Reliability based on voice and data performance from independent 3rd party data.
SOURCE AT&T Inc.