RESTON, Va., Sept. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Louisiana is putting game-changing communications technology within reach of its first responders. Today, Governor John Bel Edwards announced his decision to accept the FirstNet and AT&T* plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the state's public safety community. FirstNet will bring advanced technologies that will help Louisiana's first responders save lives and protect communities.
"The entire State of Louisiana will benefit from this decision," said Governor John Bel Edwards. "From natural disasters like flooding and hurricanes, to other planned events like Mardi Gras, hosting Super Bowls or other large sporting events, Louisiana has many unique times when communications systems can become strained. We will be working with our partners at FirstNet and AT&T on this communications network which means deploying a true interoperable nationwide system for public safety. The sharing of instant information will only become more critical in the future. There is a lot to be done, but the system will ultimately help protect our citizens and first responders."
AT&T, in a public-private partnership with FirstNet, will build, operate and maintain a highly secure wireless broadband communications network for Louisiana'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 is honored to serve Louisiana's public safety community," said FirstNet CEO Mike Poth. "Governor Edwards' decision will deliver modern communication technology to first responders throughout the Pelican State, making communities safer and secure. FirstNet will continue to work with the state to ensure the network delivers the coverage, services and innovation that public safety needs."
The decision enables FirstNet and AT&T to begin creating an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications. Louisiana's first responder subscribers will have immediate access to quality of service and priority to voice and data across the existing nationwide AT&T LTE network.
Preemption for primary users over the AT&T LTE network is expected by year-end. This means fire, police, EMS and other public safety workers will have dedicated access to the network when and where they need it – 24/7/365, like their mission.
"Governor Edwards' decision to opt-in to FirstNet opens the door for first responders in every city and parish in Louisiana to take advantage of the nation's only network purpose-built just for them," said Chris Sambar, senior vice president, AT&T – FirstNet. "This is the platform for public safety, giving Louisiana's first responders the tools and technologies they need to communicate every day and in every emergency. And through our commitment with FirstNet, public safety can be confident that this network will deliver what they need today, tomorrow and 25 years from now."
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) 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.
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**Claim based on the Nielsen Certified Data Network Score. Score includes data reported by wireless consumers in the Nielsen Mobile Insights survey, network measurements from Nielsen Mobile Performance and Nielsen Drive Test Benchmarks for Q1 + Q2 2017 across 121 markets.
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SOURCE AT&T Inc.