Can utilities solve their broadband needs through FirstNet? (Please tell me you know about FirstNet!)

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Quick Take:  FirstNet is responsible for building a nationwide broadband network for first responders. It is now deciding who will be eligible. Many people – me included – think utilities should be near the top of the list. One problem, however, is that many utilities remain ignorant of this opportunity. As a result, they are neither speaking up to be included nor preparing for the possibility. – Jesse Berst

 

Utilities could be an ideal broadband partner to the First Responders Network Authority (FirstNet), according to Donny Jackson, editor of Urgent Communications magazine. It is important for utilities to decide whether and how they want to be included, since FirstNet will soon begin formal talks to determine the deployment of its nationwide public safety broadband network.

 

FirstNet is a public-sector effort of the Commerce Department to build an interoperable, nationwide, broadband communications network for public safety workers and first responders. It will enable voice, text, photographic and video transmissions using high-bandwidth LTE technology (Long-Term Evolution). It is required to work in both urban and rural areas. And it must function during crisis situations when "standard" communications are bogged down by ordinary citizens connecting with friends and family.

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