RESTON, Va., Dec. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Massachusetts is advancing communications capabilities for first responders. Today, Governor Charlie Baker accepted the First Responder Network Authority* and AT&T** plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the Commonwealth's public safety community. FirstNet will bring advanced technologies that will help Massachusetts's first responders save lives and protect communities.
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 Massachusetts's public safety community at no cost to the Commonwealth. 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 Massachusetts'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 the Boston Marathon or Red Sox games at Fenway Park.
- Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the Commonwealth during natural disasters like the Blizzard of 2015 that brought over 2 feet of snow, causing flooding and power outages.
- Enhance network coverage across the diverse landscape of Massachusetts, benefitting first responders and residents throughout the Commonwealth's rural and tribal 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 Commonwealth.
The First Responder Network Authority and AT&T designed Massachusetts's network solution with direct input from the Commonwealth's public safety community. The First Responder Network Authority has been meeting with Massachusetts officials and public safety personnel for several years to address their unique communication needs. These include:
- Expanding rural and waterway coverage, and improving in-building and sub-surface coverage within urban areas.
- Making deployable network assets readily available for events and emergencies.
- Providing feature-rich services at competitive prices.
"Governor Baker's decision delivers a cutting-edge and sustainable network that will improve the quality of emergency communications in the Commonwealth," said First Responder Network Authority CEO Mike Poth. "FirstNet gives law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services the communications tools they need to help keep their communities safe and secure during disasters or day-to-day operations."
By opting in to FirstNet, fire, police, EMS and other public safety workers subscribing to the service will have dedicated access to the information they need, when and where they need it – 24/7/365, like their mission.
The decision enables the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T to begin offering an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications. Massachusetts's first responder subscribers will have immediate access to quality of service, priority and preemption to voice and data across the FirstNet network.
"Governor Baker is truly a great partner in public safety," said Patricia Jacobs, president, AT&T New England. "We're honored to have this opportunity to serve the first responders of Massachusetts and to provide the Commonwealth a public safety network that's going to meet their needs for years to come."
*About The 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 the First Responder Network Authority (@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.