The First Responder Network Authority Board approved more than $200 million in funding to enhance FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network.
The funding, approved during its June 17 Board meeting, will be used for network upgrades to “set FirstNet on the path to 5G and to expand the dedicated fleet of deployable assets.” The Board approved a measure that will direct FirstNet Authority management to issue two task orders under the existing nationwide network contract with AT&T.
“These investments mark the next major step in our mission as we continue to evolve the FirstNet network based on public safety’s needs,” said FirstNet Authority Board Chair Edward Horowitz. “The Board’s actions set the network on a path to 5G and will boost on-demand coverage for public safety.”
The $218 million approved by the Board will be invested in expanding the fleet of FirstNet deployables to enhance network coverage and capacity for public safety during emergencies and events and initial generational upgrades to enable 5G network capabilities.
The FirstNet Authority’s investments are made possible through a sustainable business model that enables the organization to continually improve and advance the network. The investments align with the FirstNet Authority’s Roadmap, which outlines the key priorities and activities for advancing and evolving the network beyond current contractual commitments. In addition, the FirstNet Authority established a set of investment principles to further guide the decision-making process for network investment.