FirstNet October Newsletter

Link to the October Newsletter is HERE

Network Status Map Enhancements

  • The new Advanced Map View, which became available in early October, will provide eligible personnel access to a detailed view of unplanned network outages, including cell site locations. Eligible personnel must be designated by their agency as a Communications Lead, Emergency Support Function 2, Communication Coordinator, 911 Coordinator or similar role. Contact your agency administrator for FirstNet Services to apply for access.

[Emphasus Added]

FirstNet Newsletter


Wi-Fi and Video Calling launched Jan. 4, 2019, on the Samsung Galaxy A6. Wi-Fi and Video Calling allow first responders on FirstNet first access to the FirstNet packet core in the event the LTE Radio Access Network is not accessible and public Wi-Fi® access is accessible.

Real Time Text launched Jan. 4, 2019, on the Samsung Galaxy A6 and LG Stylo 4+. Real Time Text is a TeleTYpeWriter alternative for hearing- or speech-impaired customers that sends text as it is typed. It is useful for making both every day and emergency calls. You start a text conversation like a voice call, but it is different from instant messaging and SMS. Both parties see text characters appear on their devices as they are typed.

Master Local Control in minutes! Visit our newly-launched training site. And learn to quickly navigate the robust features and functionality available to you in Local Control. Participate in an interactive instructor-led 60-minute course, offered multiple times to fit your schedule. See the full list of training sessions available to you and register now to reserve your Local Control training session.

More Newsletter HERE.


AT&T FirstNet Report

FirstNet has kept first responders connected through hurricanes Florence and Michael, and more

More than 3,600 public safety agencies across the country have now joined FirstNet. That’s a nearly 50 percent increase in the number of agencies subscribing to the nationwide wireless communications ecosystem in less than 2 months.

That accounts for more than 250,000 connections on FirstNet. And first responders from federal, state, local and tribal public safety agencies are continuing to turn to FirstNet for the communications tools they need – especially during emergencies and large events.

Read more HERE.


AT&T FirstNet Update

In July, AT&T said that equipment operating in the FirstNet spectrum band had been installed on 2500 cell sites nationwide, though the buildout was yet to be validated by the FirstNet Authority.

Earlier this month, the organization said that it would use Axon Body 3 cameras, which can alleviate danger to first responders and the public. The cameras provide live video, gunshot detection alerts, the ability to upload evidence from the field and other features.

Also this month, FirstNet provided access to the full fleet of 72 dedicated deployable network assets. They are stationed around the country and can be deployed for live events or in emergencies.

In August, FirstNet said that more than 2,500 public safety agencies across the country have joined the network. This almost doubled the amount of agencies in the project since the preceding update, which was only a month earlier.

FirstNet Build Out Reduces AT&T 5G Costs

“. . . AT&T expects to finish its efforts to build out fiber to roughly 14 million locations within the next 12 months.”

This fiber will support FirstNet and 5G installations. AT&T plans to install 5G equipment on towers as it installs the FirstNet 700 MHz equipment. This will reduce AT&T’s 5G infrastructure costs.  We can hope it results in lower cost 5G access. No breath holding allowed.

California Joins FirstNet

According to Politico “All 50 states and Washington, D.C. have opted into a nationwide, interoperable public safety broadband communications network, a victory for AT&T and the federal government.”

FirstNet Solutions Overview is HERE  They mention Band 14 in the presentation.

Band 14 is the spectrum licensed to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) to create a nationwide public-safety wireless broadband network. Band 14 represents 20 MHz of highly desirable spectrum in the 700 MHz band that provides good propagation in urban and rural areas and decent penetration into buildings.

While Band 14 is for public service use Congress intended that when not used for emergencies by first responders it would be available for use for rural and remote broadband access.

First responders will have priority on this network, but the federal legislation that created FirstNet and authorized network construction allows for much wider use—indeed, any responder, virtually any government user, and even commercial entities and consumers in certain circumstances. In broadening the potential use of these airwaves, Congress likely intended that, in rural and remote areas—which are not profitable for commercial wireless carriers—FirstNet’s network and spectrum could serve a wide variety of needs, including those of families, small businesses and education, as well as traditional public-safety responders.

We will have to see how FirstNet is deployed in the Sierra where there is no broadband coverage. The original GCBC Broadband Proposal included a provision for working with the winner of the FirstNet Contract. I am waiting for a revised copy of the current work plan which was being revised to incorporate the requirements in AB1665 to see if it still has a FirstNet section and allocation.