FirstNet Opens New Lab in Boulder

November 9, 2016–The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) today unveiled its new test lab at its technical headquarters in Boulder, Colo. “The opening of our lab is a great accomplishment for FirstNet in our efforts to deploy public safety’s network and we’re proud to open it ahead of schedule and under budget,” said FirstNet Chief Executive Officer Mike Poth. “This will enable FirstNet to get advanced technology into the hands of our first responders and help them save lives and secure communities.”

“When first responders are racing to help in disasters and emergencies, they need communications tools that are tested and proven to work,” said FirstNet Chief Technology Officer Jeff Bratcher. “This lab will help FirstNet and our future partner ensure that public safety features, devices and applications run properly on the Network and are ready for first responders to use.”

FirstNet said in a news release that the lab “will be a ‘plug and play’ environment in which FirstNet and its future private industry partner will test public safety features, devices and apps before they are deployed on the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (‘Network’).”

The lab “will be used to conduct validation and verification testing for the Network, services, and features, and aid future research and development related to public safety broadband technologies,” FirstNet said. “This testing will help reduce the time to initially field test and deploy public safety features of the FirstNet Network, including quality of service; priority; pre-emption; and other future mission-critical services and applications. The lab is ready now with all the utilities needed for the future FirstNet partner to install its equipment and begin testing.”

The lab will also be used in the future “for hands-on training, demonstration and user evaluation of future FirstNet Network technologies and applications.” FirstNet plans to continue to collaborate with the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program, which also has a lab in Boulder. Meanwhile, Neil Cox is taking over as chairman of the FirstNet board’s technology committee from Barry Boniface, who is leaving the board. – Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily