FirstNet releases long-awaited roadmap

By Jonathan Nally
Wednesday, 14 August, 2019

FirstNet releases long-awaited roadmap

The First Responder Network Authority has released its long-awaited new roadmap for the future of FirstNet, the US nationwide public safety broadband network.

The roadmap, unveiled at the APCO International Conference and Expo in Baltimore, follows extensive consultation with the US public safety community via workshops, summits and individual discussions.

Those engagements helped clarify which technology areas the Authority would need to prioritise.

“As we look to the future of FirstNet, it is critical that we deliver network enhancements and innovations based on the needs of public safety and in lock step with trends in technology,” said FirstNet Authority Board Chair Edward Horowitz.

“This roadmap lays out priorities for ensuring first responders have the dedicated and differentiated network they asked for, supported by the FirstNet Authority’s management of and investment in the network.”

The roadmap is based on six areas of technology and capability that are needed now and will be needed in the future:

  • Evolution of the network core to ensure it remains technologically current.
  • Ensuring coverage and capacity delivers robust and ubiquitous network access.
  • Situational awareness solutions to provide real-time access, collection and distribution of critical information.
  • Voice communications that provide high-quality, reliable service nationwide across analog and digital platforms.
  • Secure information exchange provisions that provide secure access, exchange and management of data within and across public safety agencies and jurisdictions.
  • Interfaces that are designed for specific public safety users’ needs.

“The priorities within the roadmap domains will help guide our actions and continued engagement with public safety,” Horowitz said.

“Now with the roadmap setting a course for the network, we are moving forward on making decisions to invest in network improvements as we fully realise the promise of FirstNet.”

Pictured: FirstNet Authority Board Chair Edward Horowitz, presenting the roadmap at the APCO conference. Courtesy FirstNet.

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