The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) marked a significant milestone today with release of a new Roadmap for the future of FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network.
Unveiled at the APCO International Conference and Expo in Baltimore, the FirstNet Authority Roadmap builds on the organization’s nationwide engagement with public safety to gather feedback on the most important communications capabilities for their missions. Through hundreds of individual engagements, workshops, and summits with first responders, the FirstNet Authority developed prioritized technology areas to ensure the Roadmap reflects their specific communications needs.
“As we look to the future of FirstNet, it is critical that we deliver network enhancements and innovations based on the needs of public safety and in lock step with trends in technology,” said FirstNet Authority Board Chair Edward Horowitz. “This Roadmap lays out priorities for ensuring first responders have the dedicated and differentiated network they asked for, supported by the FirstNet Authority’s management of and investment in the network.”
The FirstNet Authority Roadmap will serve as a common reference point and is organized around six domains representing technologies and capabilities that are vital to public safety operations now and in the future:
Network Core: provides the essential intelligence for the functioning of the network. The Core is foundational to the network, and the FirstNet Authority envisions the Core evolving to remain technologically current.
Coverage and Capacity: enables robust and ubiquitous access to the network.
Situational Awareness: envisions real-time access, collection, and distribution of critical information.
Voice Communications: envisions high-quality, reliable voice communications nationwide working seamlessly across analog and digital platforms.
Secure Information Exchange: envisions the ability to access, exchange, and manage data securely and conveniently within and across public safety agencies and jurisdictions.
User Experience: seeks to ensure interfaces are designed for specific public safety users’ operational challenges.
In addition to overseeing the deployment and operations of the network, the FirstNet Authority is responsible for directing future investments for the growth and advancement of the network. The FirstNet Authority will follow the Roadmap to prioritize its programs, activities, and investments in network improvements to ensure first responders have the communications tools they need to save lives and protect communities.
Future iterations of the Roadmap will be developed through collaboration among the public safety community, industry, government, AT&T, and the FirstNet Authority. The perspectives gained through this collaboration will be incorporated into the Roadmap as it is refreshed and released regularly.