AT&T to start building nationwide network for first responders

Posted at 8:17 AM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 08:23:51-04

When disaster strikes, communication can mean the difference between life and death.

That's why there's an effort in the works to give first responders their own network. 

AT&T has announced that the company has been chosen by the First Responder Network Authority to build the country's first nationwide public safety broadband network to help police, fire and other emergency teams.

Currently, first responders use commercial networks which can get clogged in times of crisis.

Some of the goals of the FirstNet network, according to AT&T, include interconnecting all of the responding parties, keeping emergency crews safe and fostering more smart city solutions to improve rescue efforts.

There’s another bonus: the telecommunications company reports that this public-private investment will create about 10,000 U.S. jobs. 

"Today is a landmark day for public safety across the Nation and shows the incredible progress we can make through public-private partnerships,” stated U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a press release. “FirstNet is a critical infrastructure project that will give our first responders the communications tools they need to keep America safe and secure. This public-private partnership will also spur innovation and create over ten thousand new jobs in this cutting-edge sector.”

A spokesperson for AT&T says initial capbabilities will be ready in about 6 months.

The company said the idea for this network was born after the events of September 11.