The way public safety organizations communicate will be radically changed in the next few years with the new Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN), the reliable and secure broadband platform that’s currently being deployed across the United States.
Here are eight things you need to know about the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network and how it will affect our country in the future.
1) September 11, 2001, was the catalyst that brought this network into existence.
The idea of a national communications network for public safety organizations was first brought to the table after September 11, 2001, by the 9/11 Commission. The commission recommended this network so that emergency responders could have open communication nationwide.
2) The funds and governance provisions for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network came from the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.
Though the idea for this network was first proposed years earlier, it wasn’t until 2012 that the government officially set the path in motion for a national broadband network for public safety.
As part of this act, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated what is known as the “D-Block” (758-763 MHz / 788-793 MHz) for specific use for this broadband network.
3) FirstNet – the First Responder Network Authority – was created to deploy and operate this network.
Part of the provisions included in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act was the formation of FirstNet, an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce.
FirstNet currently is in charge of developing, building, and operating the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network.
4) AT&T and FirstNet formed a public-private partnership on March 30, 2017, for the network.
AT&T and FirstNet are partnering together to deploy the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network under a 25-year agreement.
Other parties will help out as well, such as General Dynamics, Motorola Solutions, and Sapient Consulting.
5) FirstNet hopes to have the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network significantly operating by 2022.
Their goal is for this network to reach 60,000 public safety agencies throughout the U.S.
And this would be agencies everywhere, whether in urban or rural areas. That way, all public safety agencies would have access to the same information and resources.
6) All 50 states opted in for AT&T and FirstNet’s proposals for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network.
Every state in the U.S. was given a deadline to decide whether to opt in or opt out, but ultimately, they all accepted the broadband proposals from AT&T and FirstNet.
7) The Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network is designed so that public safety organizations can share and access a variety of data in real-time.
From video images to building floor plans from anywhere in the country, public safety organizations will be able to share and access a wide amount of data more than ever before – especially since it will be a 4G (fourth generation) mobile network. The 4G standard offers many benefits including speed and mobile web access support.
8) The broadband network will be interoperable.
The radio networks available to emergency responders today can be disjointed and are often separate from one another, making communication between different organizations difficult. The Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network is being formed to change that.
Interoperability is key. This radio network will be solely dedicated to public safety and vastly increase the capacity and speed of communication.
Broadband technology is immensely powerful and can provide potential benefits to organizations and sectors than we previously may not have thought possible.
With the acceptance of the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, the way we respond to emergencies may very well change irrevocably – and for the better.