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Gov Taps AT&T to Build Dedicated First Responder Network

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Mar 30, 2017, 9:19 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @zeman_e

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.

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