The latest on FirstNet and its future opportunities

By Rachel Eckert, SLED consultant

The new year is upon us and with that comes a flurry of activity for FirstNet now that all 50 states and territories have opted into the network. If you haven’t been following FirstNet let me catch you up.

To start, FirstNet will be the nationwide first responder interoperable broadband network. The FirstNet Authority and its partner AT&T (who was awarded the build-out contract) will be building out and/or upgrading the broadband infrastructure across all 50 states and territories to ensure that in the event of an emergency, first responders can communicate and respond effectively.

At the response deadline of Dec. 29, all 50 states had made their decision to opt into the network, which is a great step forward towards a more effective first responder force. But what does that mean for you?

During immixGroup’s 4th annual Government IT Sales Summit last November, we discussed what this broadband network means and where those opportunities might lie. The panel on FirstNet summarized the plan in 3 components: the devices, the pipeline and the applications.

Now with AT&T responsible for the build out and upgrade of the networks, AT&T and its team of partners have the devices and the pipeline covered. So that leaves the applications, which is where future opportunities will be for the tech sector.

Once those devices are up and running on that improved pipeline, first responders will need new applications that streamline the responsibilities.  They’ll need to not only be developed and tested but secured.

Before you go diving in, there is a lot of work that needs to be done first. So, for now, your best bet is to develop relationships with AT&T and their team of partners, the FirstNet Authority and the first responder community to ensure you have a thumb on the pulse of the network.

Watch the entire FirstNet session here.

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