IAFF & FIrstNet

FirstNet® Built With AT&T offers mission-critical communications services that fire departments and IAFF members need. With priority and preemption, FirstNet helps ensure your voice and data receive prioritized access – whether on an agency device or your personal device.

In This Section

FirstNet delivers a single, nationwide, interoperable LTE network purpose-built to enhance communications for individual first responders and across the entire public safety community.

AT&T is the only major U.S. wireless carrier with a union-represented workforce, and FirstNet is the only nationwide broadband network designed by, and built with and for, public safety.

GET FIRSTNET – The nationwide, public safety broadband network. FirstNet keeps you connected on and off duty. Click here to see personal plans and latest promotions for eligible IAFF members: FirstNet.com

Why FirstNet?

Due to communications challenges during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the 9/11 Commission recommended the establishment of a single, interoperable network for public safety.

The IAFF was on the frontline working with Congress to make this recommendation a reality in 2012. The legislation established the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and allocated 20 mHz of spectrum to build the National Public Safety Broadband Network designed to meet the needs of public safety.

After a rigorous, competitive process, the First Responder Network Authority selected AT&T as the nationwide public safety broadband network provider in 2017.

Through building and operating FirstNet, AT&T has a responsibility unlike any other wireless carrier – and the FirstNet Authority holds AT&T accountable to deliver the solutions that meet public safety’s needs today and for decades to come. “FirstNet exists to serve public safety and to better their communications capabilities. Serving public safety is our mission. The opportunity to collaborate with the IAFF will go a long way in helping fire fighters and paramedics get the information they need and want with the speed and reliability they deserve.” – Jim Bugel, President – FirstNet Program at AT&T

How to Sign Up

Local Support: To be connected to a local representative, email [email protected] with your name, location and IAFF local number.

Sign Up Online: FirstNet-eligible members can sign up for a plan online . This option supports new activations, new number or number port from a different carrier, AT&T to FirstNet migration, device upgrades and add-a-line.

Introducing FIrstNet and Family

Connecting both your worlds.

FirstNet and Family gives public safety professionals the mission-critical network of FirstNet and your family the world-class connectivity of AT&T to keep your worlds connected:

  • Active first responders and eligible public safety professionals – Get the mission-critical wireless network and prioritized connectivity of FirstNet – never competing with commercial networks.
  • Families save 25% off AT&T lines* – *With a FirstNet Unlimited smartphone plan line of service (min $39.99/mo.) and an AT&T Unlimited plan line of service (min. $75/mo. before discounts).
  • Hassle-free – One bill, one central point of purchase and dedicated, U.S.-based service and support.

For additional information, CLICK HERE: Latest Cell Phone Plan Discount for the Families of First Responders (firstnet.com) or contact Amy Huston at (615) 830-4340 or [email protected]


FIrstNet Basics

What is FirstNet?

FirstNet is the only nationwide wireless broadband communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders and public safety community. This reliable, highly-secure communications platform brings reliability to public safety agencies and first responders—helping them make faster and better decisions to keep themselves and the public safe. FirstNet is different from other carriers in that it has a dedicated public safety core that routes FirstNet traffic. It also encrypts network traffic within the core, creating the highly secure environment public safety requires.

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 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 very desirable spectrum set aside by the federal government specifically for public safety. It represents 20MHz of 700MHz spectrum and provides good coverage in urban and rural areas.  In addition to use of Band 14, FirstNet access 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 can be available. FirstNet has delivered a network with interoperability built in from day one to enhance public safety’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 request?

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, manage 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, and identifies solutions that can better serve public safety, expedites network restoration and more.

FIrstNet Eligibility and Subscription

Who is eligible for FirstNet?

FirstNet is exclusively for first responders and those that support their vital efforts. This includes law enforcement, fire protection services, emergency (911) call dispatching 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.

Why should I subscribe to FirstNet rather than a commercial carrier?

When you subscribe to FirstNet, you’ll be part of the nations’ 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.

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. One of the primary benefits of FirstNet is providing America’s first responders with 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 (law enforcement, fire, EMS, PSAPs and 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 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  Latest Cell Phone Plan Discount for the Families of First Responders (firstnet.com)

Do my AT&T discounts and family plan remain in place if I sign up for FirstNet?

You can visit your local AT&T Store or visit https://www.att.com/offers/firstresponders.html to sign up.  There, your AT&T Service Rep can ensure you have the most discounts and the best family plan.

What plans are available for me and my family?  What if we’re currently on a commercial carriers plan?

Rate plans are available for organizations or individuals. Eligible customers can choose from a variety of plans that fit any situation—choosing talk, text, data, mobile hotspot and/or 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.firstnet.com/offers/firstnet-and-family.html  to sign up and find the best plans for you and your family.

How do I reach FirstNet Customer Support?

Call 1-800-574-7000 or log into FirstNet Central to Chat with a Customer Support Representative.

Other Questions

Will FirstNet come to our affiliate event?

Absolutely!  Send an email to Amy Huston at [email protected] to request support.

Can FirstNet do sign up days at our affiliate office or firehouse?

Absolutely!  Send an email to Amy Huston at [email protected] to coordinate.


FirstNet can host a sign-up event at your affiliate office or firehouse as well as attend an affiliate event.

Contact Amy Huston at (615) 830-4340 or [email protected] to schedule.