What is FirstNet?
FirstNet is the only wireless network dedicated to first responders, when and where they need it most. We are responsible for keeping your lines of communication open with dedicated, mission-critical solutions that will modernize public safety – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What is the role of AT&T in the FirstNet network?
Public safety officials have worked closely with – and been a part of – the First Responder Network Authority since its inception in 2012. In 2017, AT&T was awarded the 25-year contract to build and maintain the FirstNet network and ecosystem. FirstNet also coordinates with and receives input from the public safety community through the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC), which provides guidance and public safety subject matter expertise.
What is the First Responder Network Authority?
The First Responder Network Authority is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce that was authorized by Congress in 2012 with a mission to develop, maintain and operate the nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities.
What does the FirstNet network provide for public safety?
FirstNet is the only nationwide network and platform that gives first responders an entire communication ecosystem of unique benefits, including mission-centric devices, certified applications and always-on, 24-hours-a-day priority and preemption across voice and data.
What is Band Class 14?
Band 14 is a spectrum set aside by the federal government specifically for public safety. It represents 20MHz of a 700MHz spectrum and provides good coverage in urban and rural areas. In addition to the use of Band 14, FirstNet has access to AT&T LTE bands of spectrum.
How will this network work in natural or other disasters?
In the face of natural disasters, the ability to communicate is essential to first responders. Incident commanders need to convey vital data to every first responder – fast. They need to know if resources from neighboring jurisdictions are available. FirstNet has delivered a network with interoperability built-in from day one to enhance the public safety sector’s ability to protect and serve.
How does FirstNet manage disaster recovery?
State and local agencies on FirstNet have 24/7 access to a nationwide fleet of 76 land-based and airborne deployable network assets. These portable cell sites can either be deployed for planned events or in emergencies at no additional charge. The FirstNet Response Operations Group – led by former first responders – guides the deployment of the FirstNet deployable assets based on the needs of public safety.
What is the FirstNet Resource Operations Group and how does my department submit a request to it?
The FirstNet Response Operations Group (ROG) is available to provide critical communications in the event of a natural disaster. The group, led by former first responders, manages the program in alignment with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and FEMA National Response Framework (NRF). No other network provider has deployable network assets dedicated solely and exclusively to public safety.
The ROG allocates deployable assets for events such as natural disasters; coordinates with federal, state and local agencies on incident stabilization and response; identifies solutions that can better serve public safety; and expedites network restoration.
FirstNet Eligibility and Subscription
Why should I subscribe to FirstNet rather than a commercial carrier?
When you subscribe to FirstNet, you’ll be part of the nation’s only network for first responders. You’ll always be at the front of the line and always on. You won’t compete with commercial users for a connection. Preemption capabilities will allow first responders to have the bandwidth in an emergency by detouring others off the network. A physically separate core; dedicated security operations center to monitor and mitigate threats; and single sign-on/federated identity capabilities make it clear that security is a priority for FirstNet. This focus will remain a priority as we build end-to-end encryption.
Am I eligible for FirstNet?
FirstNet is exclusively for first responders and those that support their vital efforts. This includes fire protection services, emergency (911) call dispatching, law enforcement and government Public Safety Answering Points, emergency planning and management offices, and emergency medical services. Other essential personnel who support first responders before, during and after an emergency can also subscribe to FirstNet. These organizations provide medical care, mitigation, remediation, overhaul, clean-up, restoration or other such services during or after an incident.
Can I have FirstNet on my personal phone or do I have to go through my department?
Primary users can have two types of authorized users: Agency (department) Paid Users and Subscriber (personal) Paid Users. Agency Paid Users are employees and contractors of a qualified Public Safety Entity. The Public Safety Entity pays for the FirstNet service for Agency Paid Users. Subscriber Paid Users are verified and approved (a) employees of a Primary User Public Safety Entity or (b) qualified volunteer personnel affiliated with a Primary User Public Safety Entity. Subscriber Paid Users pay for their own FirstNet service.
Do I need to do anything to get priority and preemption?
Priority and preemption – called First Priority® – is always on for first responders. One of the primary benefits of FirstNet is providing America’s first responders with highly secure and reliable connectivity while on the job, whether it be a crisis or a routine task in a congested area. If networks are congested when duty calls, first responders remain first in line. First responders (i.e., law enforcement, fire, EMS, PSAPs, EMAs) have priority and preemption across the network at no additional charge.
When an event causes a larger than normal concentration of users in a small area to access the network at the same time, cell towers can become congested. In addition to priority access, First Priority removes or reassigns lower-priority users to other bands to help ensure first responders maintain access to their applications. First responders don’t have to do anything to enable network preemption, it is built into the FirstNet network design, enabling first responders to focus on the critical job they do.
Are my family members eligible for FirstNet?
If your family members are first responders, yes. However, if they are not, they’re still eligible for exclusive savings when you sign up for FirstNet at https://www.att.com/offers/firstresponders.html.
What plans are available for me and my family? What if we’re currently on a commercial carrier's plan?
Rate plans are available for organizations or individuals. Eligible customers can choose from a variety of plans that fit any situation (e.g., talk, text, data, mobile hotspot, tethering services). And they can be used with a compatible smartphone, tablet or wearable device. Learn more about FirstNet Rate plans at https://www.firstnet.com/plans.html.
You can visit your local AT&T Store or visit https://www.att.com/offers/firstresponders.html to sign up and find the best plans for you and your family.
Will I need a new device and SIM card?
In some cases, you can use your device; however, it is most likely you will need a new device and you will need a new SIM card. Public safety users have access to an expansive catalog of LTE devices, ranging from purpose-built rugged units to the world’s most popular smart devices and tablets, complemented with a wide range of accessories. FirstNet enables public safety customers to get the priority, coverage and interoperability they need without sacrificing choice in the devices they require to get the job done. Learn more about FirstNet devices at www.firstnet.com/devices.
What devices have Band Class 14 activated and are FirstNet-ready?
Devices that have a FirstNet Ready™ badge are those that will work on the FirstNet Evolved Packet Core simply by installing a FirstNet SIM card. Note that some FirstNet Ready™ devices may also require a simple software update. You can view specific requirements for each device by clicking each device image. For more information on device pricing and capabilities, contact a FirstNet Specialist.
Does my fire department have any responsibility for my FirstNet service?
Primary Users can have two types of authorized users: Agency Paid Users and Subscriber Paid Users. If your agency administrator has approved a line of service for you as an Agency Paid User, you can reach out to them for instructions on how to proceed.
Will FirstNet come to our affiliate event?
Absolutely! Send an email to Amy Huston at [email protected] to request support.
Can FirstNet hold sign-up days at our affiliate office or firehouse?
Absolutely! Send an email to Amy Huston at [email protected] to request support.