Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to the NPSBN

FirstNet Blog:  This article was originally printed in APCO’s PSC Communications Magazine, November/December 2015 Issue.

Recognizing that the public safety user community will demand support for personal devices on the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN), FirstNet is taking steps to develop and implement an effective BYOD policy. The BYOD policy must provide adequate security and control of the device, while still providing an acceptable user experience when accessing the NPSBN. It must also operate in real time to analyze BYOD access and identify anomalies.

Throughout the course of our consultation and outreach efforts, including feedback on the Special Notice and Draft Request for Proposals (RFP) documents, many of our stakeholders have asked a recurring question. Will FirstNet allow personal devices on the NPSBN?”

This question tells us that many within the public safety community have personal smart phones that utilize commercial networks, and they are interested in accessing the NPSBN from their personal phones when the NPSBN is operational. In addition, many existing public safety devices are highly specialized and costly (such as the units used by the emergency medical services teams) and could benefit first responders by working over the NPSBN, too.

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