Dear PSAC members,
I’m excited to share that AT&T has delivered the FirstNet core to the First Responder Network Authority, a major step in providing the secure, dedicated network that public safety has long fought for and needs to carry out its vital mission.
As Jeff Bratcher explains in our announcement blog, the FirstNet core is the first-ever and the only dedicated core network infrastructure built specifically for our nation’s first responders. The core is the brain and nervous system of the FirstNet network, and dedicated entirely and only to public safety traffic. It supports current FirstNet functions, like priority and preemption, and will also support future mission-critical services to be offered by FirstNet, like push-to-talk and location based services.
The power of the Core
The FirstNet core will deliver the advanced functions public safety has been waiting for, including:
- End-to-end encryption, so public safety can transmit data securely.
- 24/7/365 security monitoring through a Security Operations Center staffed with a FirstNet-dedicated team
- Superior reliability and availability, so the network is as dependable as first responders themselves
- Local control, enabling local leaders to boost priority levels when needed to keep their first responders connected when it matters most
- Mission-critical functions, making a range of next-gen, open-standards-based technologies available to public safety in the future, such as mission-critical push-to-talk, enhanced location-based services and more
The Core’s next steps
Because we must provide a public-safety-ready network, the First Responder Network Authority is going to take the core through validation and testing exercises to check the functionality of public safety-specific features, measure redundancy under a range of conditions, and validate its overall performance and resiliency. While we’re in the validation and testing phase, select FirstNet users will be able to move to the core as part of a controlled introduction by AT&T. Once we finish the validation and testing – which we expect to have done in the April/May timeframe – AT&T will move more FirstNet users to the core.
It is absolutely amazing that the FirstNet core is here only one short year – almost to the day – after the First Responder Network Authority announced our partnership with AT&T. Through our work together, we are building the future of public safety communications, and providing our nation’s first responders the lifesaving tools they need to respond every day and in every emergency.
Chief Executive Officer