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Verizon Building Public Safety Network to Compete with FirstNet

In a press release this week, telecommunications giant Verizon announced its intention to develop a communications network tailored to first responders and other public safety employees, intending to directly compete with FirstNet.

In its statement, Verizon said it “will make substantial investments in new network capabilities, as well as expanded products and services, to enhance our industry-leading 4G LTE network for public safety,” including efforts to “build and operate our own private network core dedicated to public safety communications,” “make priority access and preemption services available to public safety when necessary and at no charge,” and “invest in new mission-critical 4G LTE voice communications to complement existing services such as Push-to-Talk Plus.”

FirstNet describes itself as “an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Authorized by Congress in 2012,” tasked with a mission “to develop, build and operate the nationwide, broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities.” The FirstNet Board of Directors includes the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The ultimate goal of FirstNet was the construction of a network “designed to be reliable, functional, safe and secure, and provide optimal levels of operational capability at all times,” thus creating a public safety communications network built to commercial standards, for the first time.

The network is designed to support local, state, and federal efforts, with 15 states having thus far opted-in to the FirstNet program.

Verizon notes its own effort “does not require that states opt-out of FirstNet, does not require access to any federal funding provided to FirstNet, and does not require any financial commitment from states to support network deployment.” It will be fully funded by Verizon and devices designed to work on the new network will be multi-band and interoperable with the networks built by FirstNet.





Posted in General News

Tags: radio equipment, federal law enforcement, first responders


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