The fastest internet provider, AT&T®, has now rolled out FirstNet® in Fredericksburg City and Gillespie County. The first nationwide public safety network in the US for first responders is only available to those who are verified as first responders.
The Regional Manager of AT&T-FirstNet, Brian Maholic, said, “We are building a network for public safety across the country to give them the capability that they need every single day. Whether that’s a good day or day with emergencies or one with natural disasters, we are building this network to enhance first responders’ communications and to be able to provide what they need on a daily basis.”
FirstNet® was set up following the mission of the 9/11 Commission to enhance communication throughout the nation. The federal government administers the public safety network, and AT&T® was chosen to be its construction partner from the telecom sector. AT&T® provides many services, including the fixed wireless, to customers in the US.
As said, FirstNet® is available to first responders, not to the public, but for their safety operations. For instance, in certain emergencies, telephone lines get tied up since several people try to reach their loved ones and emergency services at once.
There are a couple of main requirements for FirstNet® subscription. Maholic said, “In order to take advantage of this, you have to be an agency that provides public safety services or supports public safety services.” Recently, the Gillespie County and Fredericksburg City have taken the necessary steps to join FirstNet®.
Eric Whiting, who is the Fredericksburg IT Administrator, said that the program is helpful for the county and city entities that take part. “It will and does help us when we have an influx of people that come to visit us on the weekends and the towers are unable to handle that amount of traffic,” Whiting said. “FirstNet® is a completely segmented network that the public cannot access and it gives us priority, especially during those high traffic weekends when there’s an emergency.”
It is not just for municipalities and/or other entities, but volunteer paramedics and firefighters, for instance, may also sign up following a FirstNet® verification and validation procedure. Those who are interested in FirstNet® would have to get in touch with the Dallas-based fixed wireless provider, or may visit any of its stores for more information.
Whiting also said, “It is a very important and highly intricate network. There are many moving parts associated with it, but I feel it is a huge asset to the city and county residents to give them peace of mind that a communication network such as this one will be working when they don’t have access to one.”