Public safety agencies in Texas and Kansas announced this week that they are subscribing to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) system being built by AT&T, Inc. “It’s absolutely thrilling to have a dedicated public safety broadband network,” said Brazos County, Texas, Sheriff Chris Kirk, whose office has signed up for FirstNet. “We’re still doing the same job. But with FirstNet, we can do it even better and faster than before. We have all the information we need at our fingertips, backed by the connectivity needed to access it. And most importantly, it keeps our deputies out in the neighborhoods, so we can spend more time serving Brazos County.”
The Brazos County Sheriff’s Office is the first local agency in Texas to subscribe to FirstNet, but it says it has been using public safety broadband through its collaboration with Harris County, which is a FirstNet early builder.
In Kansas, the Kansas Highway Patrol is the first public safety agency in that state to become a FirstNet subscriber. “We’re proud to be the state’s anchor tenant for this cutting-edge public safety broadband network,” said Kansas Highway Patrol Col. Mark Bruce. “FirstNet is truly transformational. We’re just beginning to unleash its potential, but we believe it’s a promising solution that will help us do our jobs better and faster — while staying safer.”
All 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia have opted into FirstNet (TR Daily, Jan. 19), but agencies are under no obligation to actually subscribe to AT&T for service. —Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org