Gov Taps AT&T to Build Dedicated First Responder Network
AT&T will build a nationwide wireless network explicitly for the use of first responders and emergency personnel, the company said today. The U.S. Department of Commerce awarded AT&T with the FirstNet project, which was first recommended not long after the 9/11 attacks when disparate, incompatible systems impacted first responders' ability to communicate. The government will give AT&T 20 MHz of spectrum and billions of dollars to build the network. AT&T will operate the network for at least 25 years, and it expects to spend some $40 billion over that time developing, maintaining, and improving the network. FirstNet will be reserved for emergency medical personnel, firefighters, police officers, and other people who need to communicate during attacks, weather-related disasters, and other events. The intent is to improve rescue and recovery operations, better connect first responders to vital information, improve IoT solutions, support wearables, and deploy the most advanced technology possible. AT&T is working with Motorola Solutions, General Dynamics, Sapient Consulting, and Inmarsat Government. It expects to begin work on the FirstNet network later this year.
Facebook to Share Real-Time Map Data with First Responders
Facebook this week said it plans to provide humanitarian and other aid organizations with real-time access to its maps during natural disasters and other emergencies. According to Facebook, it will strip user identities from its map data while still showing where people are moving, where people might be marking themselves as safe, and other, similar trending information.
Facebook to Let Businesses and Organizations Post In Community Help
Facebook wants to make it easier for people to find and receive help during crisis and other events. The social network today said it will allow organizations and businesses post in the Community Help section so they may offer information and/or assistance to those impacted by adverse events.
Rivada Mercury Proposes FirstNet Network for First Responders
A collection of telecommunications companies have banded together with the goal of creating a nationwide LTE voice and data network for first responders. The group formed a new company, called Rivada Mercury, to manage the deployment.
AT&T Says First 5G Device Will Be a Puck
When AT&T launches 5G service, the first device able to access it will not be a handset and will instead be a puck, according to comments made by AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. "Getting the handsets at scale penetrated into the market will slow things down," noted Stephenson.
FCC Chairman Opposes Idea of Government-Run 5G Network
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today said he disagrees with national security advisors' idea that the government should take control of 5G. "I oppose any proposal for the federal government to build and operate a nationwide 5G network," said Pai in a statement.