First responder network

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) was created to implement the 9/11 Commission recommendation to give public safety providers 21st-century communication tools to help save lives, solve crimes, and keep our communities and emergency responders safe.

We will build a public safety broadband network designed to be reliable, functional, and secure. More than 60,000 public safety agencies will be able to take advantage of expanded coverage and capacity. For the first time, public safety communications will be based on commercial standards. This will bring the benefits of lower costs, consumer-driven economies of scale, and rapid evolution of advanced communication capabilities.

Related Content

Honoring the Nation’s First Responders

Blog post by Edward Parkinson, CEO, FirstNet Authority Every day, first responders across the country put their lives on the line to keep Americans safe. An estimated 4.6 million people serve as career and volunteer firefighters, police, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics in the United States. Their daily jobs come with extraordinary challenges that they face with bravery and dedication...

Commerce Playing Key Role in COVID-19 Response and Recovery

Under the leadership of Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the U.S. Department of Commerce is playing a key role in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts. Commerce bureaus are providing economic assistance through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to U.S. communities and businesses affected by the pandemic; trade and export assistance to U.S. businesses; real-time...

FirstNet: Improving Communications for Public Safety

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) is an independent agency within the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration that oversees a communications network dedicated to emergency responders and the public safety community. The FirstNet Authority was established after the events of September 11, 2001 to create a nationwide broadband...

Facing Hurricanes with FirstNet on Your Side

As the summer months heat up, so too does hurricane season. With the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasting an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season for 2020, first responders must be prepared. FirstNet, the only nationwide, purpose-built network for public safety, has been battle tested and designed to keep first responders connected...

Spotlight on Commerce: Gema Howell, Computer Scientist and IT Security Engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Guest blog post by Gema Howell, Computer Scientist and IT Security Engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) I am a computer scientist and IT security engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. I work within the Applied Cybersecurity Division of NIST’s Information Technology Lab. I spend part of of my time at NIST’s Gaithersburg campus and part of...

The FirstNet Ecosystem: Exploring and Advancing Tech for First Responders

From natural disasters to critical incidents and everyday emergencies, first responders have experienced time and time again why communication is so crucial to their operations. Since its creation, the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) has worked with first responders to understand what they need in a network and what technologies can support and enhance those efforts. The...

Driving Innovation for Disaster Response to Support America's First Responders and Build Resilient Communities

Never is the nexus of public safety response and economic impact more prevalent than during a disaster. From flooding to hurricanes and wildfires, during a disaster, it is imperative that public safety and local officials have the best tools and technologies to save lives. Having this critical response infrastructure is also instrumental in helping local economies recover and remain resilient into...

U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Two Appointments to First Responder Network Authority Board

Press releases
Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the appointment of two leaders in public safety and law enforcement to serve on the Board of the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority). The new members bring the FirstNet Board to a full complement, with 12 non-permanent members selected by the Department of Commerce and three permanent seats filled by the Attorney General...

Nationwide Coding Challenge to Assist Emergency Responders in Serving and Protecting Communities Nationwide

The following is a cross-post from the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) blog September is National Preparedness Month, and this year innovation for first responders is on the forefront. The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority), an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), is collaborating with the DOC National Institute of Standards and...