First responders dedicate their lives to saving lives. When everyone else is running away from danger, they run to it.
America has endured devastating natural disasters. Mass shootings. Bombings. Explosions. An insurgency at the U.S. Capitol. And a global pandemic. Through it all, our first responders have persevered.
As public safety’s communications partner, we honor you and thank you for protecting our families, friends and communities.
FirstNet News & Stories
AT&T celebrates National First Responders Day
On October 28, the country recognizes National First Responders Day – a day to celebrate and honor the women and men of the public safety community. As public safety’s communications partner, we’re committed to Be There for this vital community.
FirstNet and O2X bring health and wellness training to first responders
Together, they will bring mental and physical performance workshops for first responders to five cities. The workshops will be run by O2X, a training and education company founded by former Navy SEALs.
Responding with resilience: mental wellness in EMS
FirstNet is working with public safety association NAEMT to develop a curriculum to help EMS professionals cope with the stressors of the job.
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September 11, 2001
The September 11, 2001, attacks were one of the most devastating events in our nation’s history. The tragedy also revealed fundamental problems with the communications systems used by America’s first responders, such as radio system limitations preventing first responders from different agencies to speak with each other, and wireless networks becoming overwhelmed and congested hampering public safety voice and data transmissions.
February 22, 2012
U.S Congress created the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) as part of the bipartisan Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act. The law allocated 20 megahertz of spectrum and $7 billion (in funds raised through spectrum auction) to establish a broadband network dedicated to the nation's first responders and gave the FirstNet Authority the mandate to build, operate, and maintain that network.
Public safety officials worked closely with the FirstNet Authority since its inception to ensure the FirstNet network meets first responders’ needs – today and in the future. After consulting with more than 1.8 million first responders and state, tribal, territorial, and local public safety and technology executives across the country, the FirstNet Authority issued an RFP to create a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership and help bring FirstNet to life.
Architected from the ground up for superior reliability, AT&T launched the dedicated, physically separate FirstNet network core, giving first responders access to a highly secure and truly specialized communications system that is distinct from commercial network offerings to keep them mission ready.
From hurricanes and wildfires to major events like the Boston Marathon and 4th of July parades, public safety agencies on FirstNet, Built with AT&T have access to their own dedicated fleet of 72 portable cell sites to help first responders stay connected and operate faster, safer and more effectively when lives are on the line. FirstNet Fleet assets are available free of charge, 24x7x365 to agencies on FirstNet, giving them confidence they will have connectivity when and where they need it.
March 2020 – Present
COVID-19 is an unprecedented event for the country. And FirstNet is helping America’s first responders and medical professionals – resulting in a growth of FirstNet subscribers on the frontlines – in the fight against the pandemic. Examples include providing critical connectivity in hard-hit communities for field hospitals, quarantine locations, naval hospital ships, major medical centers, emergency operations centers, drive-thru testing and vaccination sites and more.
When designing the custom FirstNet State Plans, public safety and local leaders identified priority coverage areas. The FirstNet network expansion is helping to bridge the rural-urban digital divide to help ensure all of public safety – and the communities they serve – have access to critical connectivity to help meet the urgent challenges of today and tomorrow. FirstNet now covers 2.71 million square miles of the nation, and more than 15,000 public safety agencies and organizations – accounting for more than 2 million connections nationwide – have subscribed to FirstNet.
The impacts of FirstNet have been real, tangible and, at times, lifesaving. We believe FirstNet is the most important wireless network in the nation because it is serving our first responders. And both AT&T and the FirstNet Authority are committed to continuously evolving and innovating to meet public safety’s ongoing needs over the next 20+ years to help keep public safety and those they serve safer.