What is FirstNet?

The First Responder Network Authority, or FirstNet, is an agency whose mission is to build a nationwide, high-speed wireless broadband network dedicated to America’s first responders by giving them one interoperable network to respond to national security and public safety incidents.

Chartered by the United States Congress in 2012, FirstNet was born as a result of emergency response communication challenges that were revealed on 9/11 as emergency agencies struggled to communicate with each other over standard networks. By establishing a dedicated high-speed wireless broadband network, first responders will be able to communicate clearly and efficiently during man-made emergency situations and natural disasters without having to worry about network congestion.

More importantly, FirstNet will greatly enhance the ability for responders and agencies to work together and communicate with each other throughout different agencies, jurisdictions, and across the country – allowing for better coordination and preparation during emergencies in order to keep America safe.

Overall, FirstNet’s network will:

  • Strengthen public safety and national security;
  • Provide fast and efficient network compatibility;
  • Create a network dedicated to first responders, bypassing dangerous network congestion during times of emergency;
  • Avoid a financial burden on states.

However, in order to fully benefit from the public safety infrastructure provided by FirstNet and its partners, state governors must choose to opt-in.