RESTON, Va., Dec. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Rhode Island is modernizing communications technology for its first responders. Today, Governor Gina Raimondo accepted the First Responder Network Authority* and AT&T** plan to deliver a wireless broadband network to the state's public safety community. FirstNet will bring advanced tools that will help Rhode Island's first responders save lives and protect communities.
"The safety of Rhode Island first responders is of the utmost importance – and state-of-the-art interoperable communications is a major component of that," said Peter Gaynor, Director, Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA). "After carefully examining the findings, we concluded and made the recommendation to the Governor, that the plan put forth by FirstNet and its partner AT&T offered the lowest risk, highest value option for Rhode Island first responders."
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 Rhode Island'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 Rhode Island'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 Newport Winter Festival that attracts thousands of visitors each year.
- Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the state during natural disasters, such as severe winter storms, hurricanes and flooding.
- Enhance and expand network coverage across Rhode Island's diverse landscape, benefitting first responders and residents throughout the state's rural areas and waterways.
- 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 9-1-1 networks and Smart Cities' infrastructure.
The First Responder Network Authority and AT&T designed Rhode Island's network solution with direct input from the state and its public safety community. This helped to address the state's unique communications needs, including:
- Extending coverage over navigable waterways.
- Providing a "Bring Your Own Device" solution to Rhode Island's large contingent of volunteer first responders.
- Offering feature-rich services at competitive prices.
"Governor Raimondo's decision today delivers FirstNet's cutting edge, prioritized broadband communications to first responders who serve across local, state and federal levels in the Ocean State," said First Responder Network Authority CEO Mike Poth. "FirstNet will help make Rhode Island's communities and first responders safer with advanced communication technologies, devices and applications."
The decision enables the First Responder Network Authority and AT&T to begin offering an entirely new wireless ecosystem for public safety communications. Rhode Island's first responder subscribers will have immediate access to quality of service, priority and preemption to voice and data across the FirstNet network.
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.
"Bringing first responders the best possible public safety network is the shared mission of Governor Raimondo and her staff, along with AT&T and FirstNet," said Patricia Jacobs, president, AT&T New England. "We're pleased that Rhode Island has elected to join the growing list of states and territories opting into FirstNet. It's a decision that will have a huge positive impact on public safety and on Rhode Island's residents for years to come."
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.
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.