New York Joins FirstNet First Responder Network

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Posted: Tuesday, January 2, 2018 8:51 pm

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York will join the FirstNet First Responder Network, a nationwide, high speed, wireless broadband network that was created exclusively for first responders and the public safety community. The network, which was created through a public-private partnership between AT&T and the federal government, will put advanced technology, and devices into the hands of first responders to give them the tools they need to better communicate and share information in emergency situations.

"During emergencies and disasters, every second counts, and ensuring our first responders have the tools they need during a crisis is vital to the safety and security of all New Yorkers," said Governor Cuomo. "The entire state, from the Great Lakes to the most remote areas of the Adirondacks to New York City, must have seamless communication for our public safety community so that they can get more information quickly, make better informed decisions, and save lives."

FirstNet, an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce was born out of a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission to enhance communications used by fire, police and EMS to develop, build and operate the first nationwide, broadband network that modernizes communications used by the public safety community. Since that time, the FirstNet-AT&T partnership worked with New York public safety officials to design an implementation plan for New York.

The final, accepted plan states that AT&T will build, operate and maintain the highly secure wireless broadband communications network at no cost to the state. It was also designed to address the state's unique communications needs, including:

  • Expanding coverage in rural areas such as the Adirondacks, in urban areas such as in buildings and the subway system and along waterways such as the Great Lakes and Long Island Sound
  • Improving interoperability to support better coordination with border states and Canada
  • Making the cost of services and devices more affordable for smaller communities.

Specifically, the network will transform the way New York's fire, police, EMS and other public safety personnel communicate and share information by:

  • Connecting first responders to the critical information they need in a highly secure manner when handling day-to-day operations, responding to emergencies and supporting large events like New York City's New Year's Eve celebration which attracts more than 1 million spectators to Times Square, the New York City Marathon that attracts more than 50,000 runners and nearly 2.5 million spectators each year, and the Great New York State Fair which welcomed more than 1 million fairgoers in 2017.
  • Creating an efficient means of communication for public safety personnel in agencies and jurisdictions across the state during natural disasters and emergencies.
  • Enhancing network coverage across New York's diverse landscape, benefitting first responders and residents throughout the state's densely populated metro areas to rural areas and tribal lands.
  • Providing first responders with access to dedicated network assets that can be deployed for additional coverage and support when needed.
  • Driving infrastructure investments and create jobs across the state.
  • Ushering in a new wave of dependable innovations for first responders. This will create an ever-evolving set of life-saving tools for public safety, including public safety apps, specialized devices and Internet of Things technologies. It also carries the potential for future integration with NextGen 911 networks and Smart Cities' infrastructure.

SOURCE: Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

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